Global Community Must Continue To Invest In Vaccines, Strengthen Immunization Systems

Devex: Opinion: Vaccination rates are high — but they’re not high enough
Orin Levine, director of vaccine delivery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Mike Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

“…Here’s what we see in this year’s [WHO/UNICEF report on global immunization coverage]: overall high but stagnating levels of protection, with a few places where there are as many people unprotected as protected, and some alarming holes in protection in unexpected places. … Immunization is an essential component of the armor that protects us from risks at home and abroad. … [W]e cannot let success lead to complacency and stagnation. We must continue to invest in vaccines and strengthen the systems that protect our communities. We must also commit to reporting the most accurate numbers, even if it is politically challenging and the numbers are not the most convenient ones. While these figures might reveal lower coverage rates in the near term, the information is essential for targeting our efforts to increase coverage and … ensur[ing] that no child anywhere suffers from vaccine-preventable diseases” (7/27).

The Lancet: Collaborating to achieve Global Vaccine Action Plan goals
Alan R. Hinman, consulting senior adviser at the Center for Vaccine Equity, and Walter A. Orenstein, associate director of the Emory Vaccine Center and professor at Emory University

“…Although mechanisms to facilitate coordination and cooperation between global immunization partners currently exist, they are insufficient to address the many unmet needs of countries and partners and to provide the structure and support needed to achieve the [Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP)] goals. A new approach is urgently needed. We propose convening a new GVAP coalition that is complementary to existing mechanisms of partner coordination and whose aims are to achieve the GVAP goals, including its disease reduction targets, by taking a global perspective that encompasses all countries. The coalition’s primary purpose would be to work at global and national levels to facilitate collaborative action, contributing to and building from what now exists and involving a broader range of partner organizations. The coalition would also serve as a collaborative mechanism for advocacy, resource mobilization, and accountability” (7/29).

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