Sex and gender in COVID-19 vaccines: data, policy, and communication

Chair

Shirin Heidari (GENDRO)

Presenters

Tracey Goodman (WHO)

Lavanya Vijayasingham (UNU-IIGH)

Moderator

Jean Munro (GAVI)

Panelists

Apoorva Mandavilli (Journalist, The New York Times)

Prof Noni MacDonald (Dalhousie University, Canada)

Prof Saad Omer (Yale University, USA)

Amidst the unprecedented scale and speed of vaccine R&D, and the mammoth task of ‘leaving no one behind’ in the global deployment of COVID-19 vaccines, there is a need to ensure that critical sex- and gender dimensions are not ‘deprioritized’ in the evidence-generation, policy decision-making, and communication initiatives.

Stronger considerations of sex and gender factors in these areas can contribute to better science, and innovation, prevent avoidable harm, build public understanding and trust in a timely manner, and ultimately improve immunization coverage.

Some key areas that require attention and action include:

· persistent overlook of sex-and gender dimensions in clinical trials and other vaccine related research

· nuanced analysis of post-market surveillance and pharmacovigilance data that can inform sex-based difference in frequency or severity of adverse events

· the lack of data in specific populations such as in pregnant and lactating women in the initial phases of vaccine roll-out in some countries

· sex and gender dimensions on vaccine confidence, acceptability, and uptake

· transparent and accurate science reporting to clearly communicate the relevant sex and gender dimensions to lay audience

Want to know more? Check out this additional reading:

Presentation 1:

Critical sex and gender considerations for equitable research, development and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines

 

Presentation 2:

SDG3 GAP Gender working group /UNU-IIGH Guidance note and checklist for tackling gender-related barriers to equitable COVID-19 vaccine deployment