The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities in certain populations, which may include refugees and migrants. These populations may face a range of individual, social, and practical or logistical barriers to uptake of COVID-19 vaccines that contribute to shaping their vaccination behaviours. To date these populations have shown lower rates of COVID-19 vaccination uptake in the few countries where this has been measured. WHO recommends that vaccine prioritization within countries should include refugees and migrants and calls for affordable, non-discriminatory access to vaccines for all populations.
Developed based on global evidence and expertise, this guide provides actionable recommendations, strategies, and good practices for understanding and addressing individual, social and practical or logistical barriers to COVID-19 vaccination among refugee and migrant populations, acknowledging the context-specific barriers they experience that need to be better considered by policy-makers and planners. The guide is intended to support policy-makers, planners and implementers at national and local levels, including in governments, nongovernmental organizations, WHO country offices and other stakeholders responsible for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines to refugee and migrant populations. It aims to support the operationalization of the recent WHO interim guidance COVID-19 Immunization in Refugees and Migrants: Principles and Key Considerations.