Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals

WHO vaccine position papers

In accordance with its mandate to provide guidance to Member States on health policy matters, WHO publishes a series of vaccine position papers providing global vaccine and immunization recommendations for diseases that have an international public health impact. The papers summarize essential background information on the respective diseases and vaccines, and conclude with the current WHO position concerning their use in the global context.

The papers are designed for use by national public health officials and immunization programme managers. They may also be of interest to international funding agencies, the vaccine manufacturing industry, the medical community, and the scientific media.

WHO position papers follow the recommendations of the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on immunization and are submitted to a formal review process both internally and externally prior to publication. The papers are published in the Weekly Epidemiological Record in English and French and translated into the other WHO official languages which are: Arabic, Chinese, Russian, and Spanish. Since the format of this publication allows only for a limited number of references, a separate list of key references with abstracts when available, is provided for each position paper.

The need for updating vaccine position papers is reviewed periodically and depends primarily on the availability of new scientific evidence and public health priorities. On certain occasions, a brief update concerning a specific recommendation may be released, with the remainder of the paper remaining up to date. For enquiries and comments to improve these papers, please send to

Last updated: 23 December 2010