Past Event

Equitable Access to COVID-19 Vaccine: Challenges and Solutions

March 3, 2021
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
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09:30 AM (New York) 3:30 PM (Tunis) 4:30 PM (Amman) 5:30 PM (Istanbul)

Among the world’s millions of refugees, there is concern that many may be excluded from their host countries’ national vaccine programs or face added barriers to access due to a shortfall of COVID-19 vaccine supplies. Even in host countries that have started vaccinating refugees, those who are undocumented may remain sidelined. Failure to include vulnerable populations in their coronavirus response will undoubtedly undermine a global recovery from the pandemic. This webinar brings together experts who will discuss the perils of vaccine nationalism. They will investigate what the international community needs to do to improve vaccination coverage for migrants and forcibly displaced people, and what is required to bring an equitable vaccine allocation process in refugee-hosting countries.

Dr.Özge Karadağ Çaman works as a Public Health Researcher at the Center for Sustainable Development of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Dr. Karadag Caman earned her medical doctor degree at Istanbul University, and her MSc and Ph.D. Degrees in Public Health at Hacettepe University in Turkey. She also holds a postgrad degree in health promotion from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Dr. Karadag Caman has more than 15 years of experience in research and public health policy/program development for different vulnerable/ disadvantaged population groups. Her current work focuses on research, advocacy and training activities regarding the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the most vulnerable populations including migrants and refugees and how to use innovative outreach approaches and digital technologies to increase access to health information and health care among refugee and disadvantaged local youth in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. She is one of the experts working for The Lancet COVID-19 Commission Secretariat and the Global Happiness Council.

Dr. Amira Hamadeh serves as the Regional Vaccination Program and Medical Movement Coordinator at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in MENA, posted in Amman. She joined the organization in 2011 as a Migration Health Physician. Under her current portfolio as a Regional Vaccine program coordinator, she assists with the implementation of Refugee Vaccination Programs in over 15 countries in MENA, she works with IOM country teams to improve vaccination coverage for refugees undergoing resettlement, as well as vaccination training, outbreak response, monitoring and evaluation activities. She also coordinates the medical movements of refugees who have significant medical conditions who are being resettled from MENA Countries. Dr. Hamadeh is a Regional Master Trainer for Vaccination and Physical Examination. She earned her Medical Degree from Jordan University of Science and  Technology and has a Master’s Degree in Public  Health from the University of Edinburgh, UK.

Rula Amin is the Senior Communications Advisor at UNHCR Regional Bureau for the Middle East and North Africa. She leads UNHCR’s Communications work in the MENA region which hosts more than 16 million people of concern to UNHCR including refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced, and stateless people. Before joining UNHCR in 2017, Amin worked as a correspondent for Aljazeera Intl based in Beirut and covering Lebanon and Syria. Amin started her journalism career with CNN in Jerusalem covering the Palestinian Israeli conflict and the Middle East. Amin traveled across the region as she covered the news for CNN including from Baghdad, Damascus, Cairo, and Sanaa. As a correspondent for leading Intl News organizations, AJE and CNN, Amin covered the region’s most critical moments of war and peace, other major developments as well as the political and social consequences of such major events in the ME hotspots like Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. She holds a Master's Degree from Columbia Journalism School. 

Dr. Yanis Ben Amor is the Executive Director of the Center for Sustainable Development, a leading center on research around the Sustainable Development Goals-based at Columbia University. Dr. Ben Amor is also the Director of the Tropical Laboratory Initiative, a program launched by Columbia to promote access to diagnostic services to patients in remote rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Ben Amor has a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, and a Masters in the same discipline from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Rennes (Rennes, France).