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Vaccines: The Week in Review

9 May 2011

Center for Vaccine Ethics & Policy


A program of

- Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania

- The Wistar Institute Vaccine Center

- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Vaccine Education Center



   This weekly summary targets news and events in global vaccines ethics and policy gathered from key governmental, NGO and industry sources, key journals and other sources. This summary supports ongoing initiatives of the Center for Vaccine Ethics & Policy, and is not intended to be exhaustive in its coverage. Vaccines: The Week in Review is now also posted in pdf form and as a set of blog posts at This blog allows full-texting searching of some 1,200 items.

                      Comments and suggestions should be directed to

      David R. Curry, MS

      Editor and

      Executive Director

     Center for Vaccine Ethics & Policy




    Documentation supporting the Sixty-fourth World Health Assembly, 16–24 May 2011, Geneva, Switzerlandwas published at


A64/1 - Provisional agenda

A64/8 - Pandemic influenza preparedness: sharing of influenza viruses and access to vaccines and other benefits

A64/10 - Implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005). Report of the Review Committee on the Functioning of the International Health Regulations (2005) in relation to Pandemic (H1N1) 2009

A64/14 - Global immunization vision and strategy

A64/17 - Smallpox eradication: destruction of variola virus stocks

   The Global immunization vision and strategy document above (A64/14) includes an overview of the Decade of Vaccines Collaboration and its status, reproduced in full text below. The paragraph numeration continues from a more general update on GIVS earlier in the document:


19. The Decade of Vaccines envisages a world in which children, families and communities enjoy lives free from the fear of vaccine-preventable diseases. Its goal is to extend the full benefits of immunization to all people, regardless of where they live. This goal reflects the perspective that access to safe and effective vaccines is a human right that is not currently enjoyed by all people, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

20. Achieving this goal will require full engagement of the diverse stakeholders needed to facilitate the discovery, development and delivery of vaccines, including donor governments, policy-makers, industry, researchers, the private sector and civil society, philanthropic bodies, and health workers in the countries where most vaccine-preventable diseases currently occur.

21. The planned activities of the decade build on and apply the lessons learnt from the work done so far in implementing the Global Immunization Vision and Strategy, and extend the base and time period of the strategy’s framework. WHO, UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other partners are beginning a 12-month collaborative process to draft together a global vaccine action plan for consideration by the Sixty-fifth World Health Assembly. Such a plan should enable greater coordination between all stakeholders, outline the steps necessary to achieve the vision and goals outlined above, and identify gaps that must be filled in order to realize the potential of vaccines by 2020 and beyond. The action plan will comprise four essential components:

   (i) establishing and sustaining broad public and political support for the use of vaccines and the financing of immunization services,

   (ii) strengthening the equitable delivery of immunization services so as to achieve universal coverage of safe and effective vaccines by 2020 in order to prevent, control, eliminate or eradicate vaccine-preventable diseases,

   (iii) cultivating a robust scientific environment for innovation in the discovery and development of new and improved vaccines and associated technologies for high-priority diseases,

   (iv) creating the right market incentives to ensure an adequate and reliable supply of affordable vaccines.

Delivering immunization services in the next decade

22. Initial discussions on the strategies and key actions needed to improve delivery of immunization services have been held with stakeholders and country representatives, under the joint coordination of WHO and UNICEF. The ensuing programme of work recognizes the centrality of demand-driven, country-led approaches and action, based on equity, responsibility and accountability and a spirit of national self-reliance and gradual self-sufficiency to achieve commonly-shared global immunization goals.

23. The overall goal is to prevent, eliminate or eradicate diseases by means of achieving high and equitable coverage with effective and safe immunization along with other essential health-care interventions throughout the life course.

24. The proposed delivery strategy comprises five overarching objectives:

   Objective 1. To uphold immunization as a human right: creating, increasing and sustaining community trust in immunization and awareness of this right; and focusing on underserved and marginalized communities by shifting the current emphasis on “Reaching Every District” to “Reaching Every Community”.

   Objective 2. To achieve equity in the use of vaccines: reaching every community with

vaccination through complementary delivery methods that engage all appropriate health service providers in the public, private and nongovernmental sectors, thereby ensuring that vaccination covers the poorest and least-served as well as all persons at risk and not just children; building demand for the wider use of new vaccines; and strengthening the efforts to eradicate poliomyelitis and eliminate measles and maternal and neonatal tetanus.

   Objective 3. To seek synergies with other programmes and re-establish immunization as a core component of primary health care: putting increased emphasis on reducing the disease burden; coordinating the multiplicity of interventions needed to achieve this reduction with vaccination as an entry point or a complement to other interventions; and participating in collaborative efforts to renovate and strengthen health systems overall.

   Objective 4. To develop immunization systems able to meet the challenges posed by the ambitious new goals: improving systems and tools for generating evidence, the monitoring of programme performance and the use of data for action; training, deploying and supporting adequate human resources for programme management and implementation; and building, maintaining and sustaining systems for regular procurement, delivery and effective supply of vaccines.

   Objective 5. To bolster national self reliance and partnerships: strengthening structures and processes for countries to develop immunization policies, strategies and best practices; promoting greater ownership, political commitment, accountability and self-reliance of national immunization programmes; enabling formation of collaborative endeavours and engaging actors with diverse expertise across different sectors; achieving sustainable financing of immunization and sound financial management; and establishing national structures and enforcing processes for accountability.


25. The process for preparing the global vaccine action plan will include extensive consultations with Member States and engage various stakeholders, including civil society organizations, professional societies and the private sector, and will provide an opportunity to estimate the costs of implementing the action plan. The Decade of Vaccines secretariat will ensure the overall oversight and coordination of the collaborative project (see paragraph 21) with working groups corresponding to each of the four proposed components undertaking detailed planning.”

It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.
Benjamin Franklin
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