A year ago, amid the global rush to roll out COVID-19 vaccines to as many people as possible, the Partnership for Healthy Cities committed to supporting vaccine equity projects in 18 cities in its network. It was clear that the pandemic was exacerbating health disparities—as was the uneven global vaccine delivery itself—so a package of grants and technical support went to Partnership cities employing innovative approaches to reach their communities.
The results have been remarkable, with almost 3.5 million people vaccinated through the program, more than 200 million people around the world viewing media campaigns to boost vaccine confidence, supplies sent to mass vaccination sites on several continents, and long-term public health investments secured for expanding disease surveillance capacity, training health care workers and more.
The vaccine initiative came in the second year of the Partnership’s program to support pandemic response, an expansion of the network’s mission to support cites on prevention of noncommunicable diseases and injuries. In collaboration with Resolve to Save Lives and the World Health Organization, the Partnership enlisted the world’s leading experts on epidemic prevention, with technical assistance and funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies and Vital Strategies rounding out the picture.
The Partnership for Healthy Cities COVID-19 response work has focused on technical and financial assistance geared toward challenges faced by every city during the pandemic—ranging from planning for vaccine distribution rollouts to managing risk communication, and from maintaining city services to implementing legal guidance on measures that protect health and safety.