The impact of COVID-19 (Technical meeting, March 2021)

The impact of COVID-19

Meeting objectives:

The impact of COVID-19 on the prevention of viral hepatitis

  • Evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on National/regional vaccination and prevention programs for viral hepatitis
  • Discuss how increasing vaccine hesitancy due to the pandemic may endanger the high coverage rates of hepatitis B vaccination
  • Evaluate lessons learnt from existing catch up programmes
  • Discuss the scale up of the public health needs to improve prevention and immunization of viral hepatitis which were negatively influenced by the pandemic


The impact of COVID-19 on the viral hepatitis elimination goals

  • Evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on viral hepatitis, screening, control & treatment in Europe
  • What is the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on the elimination goals, regionally and on country level
  • Review the possible implementation of control measures, new prevention strategies and monitoring systems during and after a pandemic, lessons learnt.
  • Assess the (extra) needs to achieve the goal of eliminating viral hepatitis as a major public health threat in Europe by 2030 as defined by WHO’s Regional office for Europe. Discuss successes, issues and the new challenges

Background document (PDF, 858 kB)


Thursday 18th of March 2021


Welcome and opening of the meeting
Chair: Greet Hendrickx

16:30 – 17:00     Welcome and opening of the meeting (PDF, 382 kB)

Session 1.1: COVID-19 impact on hepatitis prevention in risk groups

Chair: Marko Korenjak

17:00 – 17:40

How is the pandemic affecting harm reduction services working on HIV, hepatitis and STIs

Disruption in HIV, Hepatitis and STI services due to Covid (mp4, 112.779 kB)

Nicole Seguy (WHO)



Impact of COVID-19 on harm reduction services (PDF, 1.399 kB)

Jane Mounteney (head of public health EMCDDA)


Correlation Network

How harm reduction must go on – focusing on hepatitis (mp4, 210.450 kB)

Eberhard Schatz (C-EHRN)


Session 1.2: COVID-19 impact on hepatitis immunization programs

Chair: Vana Papaevangelou

17:40 – 18:20

Immunization coverage – Are we losing ground? (PDF, 4.209 kB)

Jennifer Requejo (UNICEF)


Country example Spain

Recovering lost vaccine coverage due to COVID-19 pandemic (PDF, 2.555 kB)

Jaime Jesus Perez Martin


Session 1.3: How to strengthen viral hepatitis prevention programs

Chair: Antons Mozalevskis

18:20 – 19:20

Vaccines and routine immunization strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic (mp4, 63.941 kB)

Ener Dinleyici


Action plan of CDC

Routine Pediatric Vaccination during the COVID-19 Pandemic, U.S. (PDF, 817 kB)

Yoonjae Kang (CDC)


Action plan of WHO Euro

Mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on control of vaccine-preventable diseases: a health risk management approach focused on catch-up vaccination?

Guiding principles for immunization activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Liudmila Mosina (WHO Euro)


Country example Italy

Maintain and increase vaccination coverage in children, adolescents, adults and elderly people: Let’s avoid adding epidemics to the pandemic – Appeal from the Board of the Vaccination Calendar for Life in Italy: Maintain and increase coverage also by re-organizing vaccination services and reassuring the population (mp4, 43.092 kB)

Paolo Bonanni


Session 1.4: Groups discussions

Chairs: Erika Duffel & Mojca Maticic

19:20 – 19:50

Groups discussion: How to minimize the COVID-19 impact on viral Hepatitis prevention and control?

19:50 – 20:00 – Closing of the meeting


Thursday 25th of March 2021


Welcome and opening of the meeting

Chair: Greet Hendrickx

16:30-17:00        Welcome and opening of the meeting (PDF, 1.174 kB)


Session 2.1: Impact of COVID -19 on Viral hepatitis elimination goals

Chair: Thomas Vanwolleghem

17:00 – 18:10

World Hepatitis Assembly, result of the Survey among their members investigating the impact of COVID on the Viral hepatitis elimination goals – point of view of the patient organisations focussing on Europe (mp4, 20.607 kB)

Chris Wingrove (The World Hepatitis Alliance, Head of Communications)


Impact on Hepatitis B elimination goals

The global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. (PDF, 1.406 kB)

Philippa Matthews


Impact on Hepatitis C elimination goals

Impact of COVID-19 on global HCV elimination efforts (mp4, 114.460 kB)

Sarah Blach (CDA Foundation)


Impact on Screening

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on testing services for HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections in the WHO European Region, March to August 2020. (PDF, 1.432 kB)

Annemarie Rinder Stengaard


Country experience – Spain

Impact of COVID-19 on the viral hepatitis C elimination in Spain (mp4, 73.974 kB)

Sergio Rodríguez-Tajes


Session 2.2 : WHO Elimination goals

Chair: Paige Armstrong


Future activities and action plans to support the elimination of viral hepatitis as a public health treat (PDF, 3.312 kB)

Antons Mozalevskis (WHO Euro)



Monitoring the elimination goals by the CGHE national dashboards (mp4, 81.307 kB)

John Ward


Impact of COVID-19 Response on Hepatitis Prevention Care and Treatment: Results From Global Survey of Providers and Program Managers (mp4, 15.327 kB)

Jessica Laury


Session 2.3: Groups discussion

Chair: Antons Mozalevskis & Homie Razavi


Groups discussion: Assess the (extra) needs to achieve the goal of eliminating viral hepatitis as a major public health threat in Europe by 2030.

19:50-20:00        Closing of the meeting


Meeting report by David FitzSimons (PDF, 403kB)