Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, the IFRC supports our 192 National Societies to reach vulnerable and isolated communities with life-saving vaccines.
Immunization is the foundation of healthy communities. Our millions of volunteers go the last mile to ensure that all children, everywhere get the immunizations they need to live long and healthy lives.
Every year, an estimated 20 million children do not receive routine infant immunizations. Most of these children live in fragile, conflict-affected and vulnerable communities where vaccination services are limited.
Even in areas that do have access to vaccines, a global rise in vaccine misinformation and mistrust is stopping many people from immunizing their children. Tragically, this has led to an increase in preventable diseases and deaths.
Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies deliver immunization activities at the local level. Because our trained volunteers are members of the very communities they serve, they are trusted even by remote and marginalized populations.
We tailor our activities to different needs and contexts. In some countries, we provide direct vaccination service delivery or offer vaccination as part of a package of primary health care services. In others, we focus on creating demand for vaccines among communities or on strengthening local health systems.
In complex situations such as humanitarian settings and during conflicts, National Societies' auxiliary role and local presence means they can bridge the gap between communities and formal health services.
Our immunization activities
Vaccination campaigns and social mobilization
Mobile health clinics
Vaccination during emergencies
Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies remain at the forefront of the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In early 2021, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement launched our five point plan to prepare for and introduce COVID-19 vaccines around the world:
- Advocate for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines
- Trust: build community trust and acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines and help manage expectations
- Health: support the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines in health facilities and during outreach activities
- Reach the most vulnerable, especially people living in urban slums, remote rural areas, migrants, homeless and people affected by conflict, violence and disasters
- Maintain and strengthen other immunization services, such as routine immunization and vaccination campaigns for other diseases with a special focus on zero dose and under-immunized communities
If you are from a National Society and would like to access our latest tools on COVID-19 vaccine introduction or one of our immunization working groups, please contact Indu Adhikary from the immunization team.
We have also made several COVID-19 vaccination resources available on the IFRC COVID-19 Resource Compendium.
Our impact: immunization case studies
Central African Republic
Supporting the national routine immunization programme in remote and conflict-affected districts.
Engaging and vaccinating neglected communities in hard-to-reach border areas.