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

17 June 2021 | Organisers : United Nations University International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) and GENDRO 

The panel was chaired by Shirin Heidari from GENDRO, and the presenters included Tracey Goodman from WHO and Lavanya Vijayasingham from UNU-IIGH. Jean Munro from GAVI moderated the discussion, while the panelists included Apoorva Mandavilli, a journalist from The New York Times, Prof Noni MacDonald from Dalhousie University, Canada, and Prof Saad Omer from Yale University, USA. Amidst the unprecedented scale and speed of vaccine research and development, and the mammoth task of ‘leaving no one behind’ in the global deployment of COVID-19 vaccines, there was a need to ensure that critical sex- and gender dimensions were not ‘deprioritized’ in evidence generation, policy decision-making, and communication initiatives. 

Stronger considerations of sex and gender factors in these areas could 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 required attention and action included the persistent oversight of sex and gender dimensions in clinical trials and other vaccine-related research, nuanced analysis of post-market surveillance and pharmacovigilance data that could inform sex-based differences in the frequency or severity of adverse events, the lack of data in specific populations such as pregnant and lactating women in the initial phases of vaccine roll-out in some countries, sex and gender dimensions of vaccine confidence, acceptability, and uptake, and transparent and accurate science reporting to clearly communicate the relevant sex and gender dimensions to the lay audience. 

Learn more here: 

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 

Event recording : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=825vOFeqbQ4&ab_channel=UNU-IIGH