Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals

Sustainability of immunization programmes

vaccinated children

The success of immunization programmes depends on their ability to be efficient and sustainable in the long term. Programme sustainability is the capacity of country immunization systems and processes to endure, without or with limited need of external financial/other support.

While some countries have made great progress in the past few years in developing their immunization programmes and introducing new vaccines, many countries are still struggling to ensure efficient and sustainable immunization programmes. Issues may be linked to several factors spanning across different areas, including: decision-making, political commitment and financial support, demand for immunization services and access to affordable and timely supply of vaccines.

WHO is playing a key role in developing the sustainability of immunization programmes, working closely with immunization partners. The scope of WHO EPI work in this area encompasses the projects and initiatives described below:

The MIC strategy was developed in 2014-2015 by a Task Force of 8 immunization partners, in consultation with countries, civil society organizations and vaccine manufacturers. This strategy aims to harmonize existing initiatives targeting MICs and to address important gaps in immunization efforts in MICs. The strategy was presented at SAGE in April 2015.

Building on the success of the Vaccine Product Price and Procurement (V3P) project, WHO launched MI4A (Market Information for Access to Vaccines) in January 2018. MI4A seeks to enhance the understanding of global vaccine demand, supply and pricing dynamics and identify affordability and shortage risks; convene global health partners to define strategies and guidance to address identified risks; strengthen national and regional capacity for improved access to vaccines supply.

As a key implementing partner of Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, WHO provides support to countries transitioning out of Gavi support. The aim of this support is to ensure that countries have built the appropriate technical, financial and institutional capacity to sustain their immunization programmes once they stop receiving support from Gavi.

A “Humanitarian Mechanism” has been developed by WHO, UNICEF, Médecins Sans Frontières, and Save the Children to enable civil society organizations, governments and UN agencies to quickly procure affordable vaccine supplies on behalf of populations facing humanitarian emergencies and who do not have such access. The mechanism is available for use as of 1 May 2017.

Last updated : October 2018