Immunization financing issues highlighted during 59th World Health Assembly
The theme of the immunization stand at the 59th World Health Assembly, 22-27 May 2006, Geneva, was "Immunization - an investment in life". Visitors to the stand were greeted with an array of documents and give-aways highlighting immunization financing issues. Short papers on issues such as financing through the GAVI Alliance, the International Finance Facility for Immunization and the cost of immunization programmes during the next 10 years were available.
Immunization is a highly cost-effective and relatively inexpensive health intervention. However, the overall cost of immunization, including the procurement of new vaccines, new vaccine formulations and technologies, is expected to rise sharply in the future. The expansion of vaccination schedules to include new vaccines has greatly increased the amount of resources that need to be mobilized. Securing the financing for the introduction of new vaccines and increasing coverage with existing vaccines will test all countries and immunization partners.