Due to an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 infections, a new variant that is more contagious, and these being early days in the vaccination distribution, VOSH/International DOES NOT recommend that chapters participate in domestic or international eye and vision clinics at this time.
We reiterate that at a time when the coronavirus continues to spread quickly in many parts of the world and vaccinations are not yet available to local populations, the risk of close contact with patients in a crowded outpatient environment remains high.
If a VOSH Chapter or VOSH volunteer chooses to hold a clinic against our best guidance, this is done at your own risk, by your own decision and should be in line with current local/national government rules. VOSH/International would like to reiterate that safety for VOSH volunteers and our patients is of utmost importance and central to any decision-making process.
We have published our updated clinic guidelines with best practices to be observed in this new context. You can download VOSH/International clinic guidelines here
Also please keep checking the following sites with official and most recent updates:
World Health Organisation: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
US Government Travel Advise: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Country-Specific-Information.html
Thank you for your patience in these unprecedented times, hard work and dedication to improving vision and eye health throughout the world.
John Daniel Twelker, OD, PhD, FAAO, FVI