Skip to main content

IVAC Team Presents Maternal Immunization Findings to Key Vaccine Stakeholders in Kenya

Presenters from Hopkins at meeting in Kenya

Left: Prachi Singh; Right: Prachi Singh, Dr. Ruth Karron, Berhaun Fesshaye, Dr. Rupali Limaye.

IVAC’s Maternal Immunization Readiness Initiative (MIRI) team recently traveled to Nakuru, Kenya, to present the project’s findings to the Kenyan Ministry of Health and other maternal and child health partners. With representation from nine counties in Kenya, the three-day meeting included workshops to co-create strategies for vaccine demand generation, such as ideas for IEC materials for beneficiaries, trainings for healthcare providers, and policy briefs.

MIRI, conducted in partnership with Jhpiego and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, conducts implementation and demand generation research to better understand decision-making and health system readiness for delivery of new and future vaccines to pregnant women in Bangladesh and Kenya. This includes COVID-19 vaccines as well as two maternal vaccines currently in development that provide protection against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and group B streptococcus (GBS).

IVAC conducted research to better understand the decision-making process for COVID-19, RSV, and GBS vaccines during pregnancy to inform demand generation and communication strategies to promote vaccine acceptance. To understand knowledge and attitudes toward RSV and GBS disease and vaccines, the MIRI team conducted in-depth interviews with pregnant and lactating women (PLW), community members, healthcare providers (HCPs), and policymakers, as well as conducting surveys among PLW and HCPs.

“Our findings indicate the need to increase awareness about RSV and GBS in communities, including families, healthcare providers, community leaders, and policymakers,” said Dr. Rupali Limaye, co-PI for the MIRI project and IVAC Deputy Director. “We’ll need to think about how to make sure HCPs are confident in their vaccine recommendations and that they have adequate knowledge to answer questions from the community about RSV vaccines. We also need to think about what term to use to discuss RSV, given that many people are not familiar with the name of the disease.”

Going forward, the MIRI team hopes to further refine and validate the co-creation process for demand generation products that was initiated during the August meeting in Kenya. The team also aims to complete data analysis and dissemination related to RSV and GBS in Bangladesh in early 2024.

Read more about the team’s previous findings on the COVID-19 decision-making process: