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UNICEF and USAID extend partnership for Communication and Outreach in Support of COVID-19 Prevention and Vaccination

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No one is safe, until everyone is safe

Pristina, July 19, 2021 – Today, the UNICEF Office in Kosovo and USAID announced a $1 million partnership in support of communication and outreach efforts in Kosovo for COVID-19 prevention and vaccination.

The assistance will be aligned with the National Deployment and Vaccination Plan (NDVP) developed by the Ministry of Health and will increase knowledge and awareness around COVID-19 vaccines, promote key preventive practices, and encourage all citizens to seek vaccination. Through evidence-based interventions and community engagement, the partnership will contribute to increased acceptance and uptake in COVID-19 vaccinations.

A recent UNICEF study shows that Kosovo's low vaccination rate is due in large part to the high prevalence of misinformation surrounding vaccines.

U-Report poll^[1][2]^ conducted by UNICEF with young people in Kosovo shows that there is hesitancy among young people to get vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines. Only 40% of them reported that they would receive COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available. This project will better inform Kosovo citizens about vaccines by engaging a team of professionals with specialized expertise in strategic communications, social media, behavioral and social sciences, and monitoring and evaluation to help craft targeted messages to fight misinformation surrounding vaccination. Through raising awareness and giving citizens the information they need, the activity will mitigate the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19.

UNICEF and USAID are committed to expanding the longstanding partnership between the two organizations, to support the Ministry of Health, and ensure accurate, timely, and effective information and communication around COVID-19 and vaccines.

[1] U-Report in Kosovo: Perceptions on vaccination and COVID19 vaccine acceptance (January 2021), UNICEF & NIPH

[2] DISCLAIMER: U-Report is designed as an anonymous online platform, and therefore data generated by U-Report polls should not be used to replace a nationally representative survey and its findings cannot be generalized as a representative data source of the targeted population.