Newsletter: Operational guidance on VAS during COVID-19

JUNE 24, 2020 – In countries with high levels of vitamin A deficiency that are affected by COVID-19 outbreaks, vitamin A supplementation (VAS) remains an essential health and nutrition intervention and all children aged 6 to 59 months—including those who are suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19—should continue to receive twice-yearly VAS. However, because of the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus within communities and between health workers and other community members, VAS strategies and administration protocols must be adjusted to allow for appropriate infection prevention and control (IPC) measures.

The Global Alliance for Vitamin A (GAVA) has been working together to provide guidance to governments on how to continue to safely deliver VAS to preschool-aged children in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, GAVA is happy to share two important updates:

GAVA has updated the recommendations in their consensus statement to be in line with recent guidance from WHO regarding immunization campaigns – click here to read the updated recommendations in English and click here to read the updated recommendations in French.

In addition, GAVA has developed operational guidance on the administration of VAS for preschool-aged children in the context of COVID-19, available in English and French. Building on the GAVA consensus statement, it provides practical guidance to countries on the adaptations recommended to safely administer VAS to preschool-aged children and maintain the continuity of VAS services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The operational guidance, which will be updated as new evidence emerges, contains guidance for program managers on preparing for the delivery of VAS, as well as detailed step-by-step instructions on how to safely deliver VAS using appropriate IPC measures.

Click here to read the full newsletter.