Any way you look at it…vaccine quality is critical
The importance of vaccine quality, safety and standards is featured at the Immunization Department's exhibit at this year's World Health Assembly held on 18-22 May 2009. With the slogan Any way you look at it…vaccine quality is critical, the exhibit showcases superimposed images that change as visitors walk by the exhibit. A brochure has also been developed illustrating essential work of the WHO Immunization Department: generating the standards to which vaccines of assured quality and safety must comply; ensuring that all people of the world have access to the full range of quality vaccines; and effectively managing the vaccine safety concerns that can now cross the globe in minutes. Yet, this work is at risk. The Department's efforts relating to vaccine safety and quality in 2010-11 are projected to be severely underfunded — more than 40% of the budget requirements are not covered. Failure to address the funding gap of US$ 13 million will mean scaling down some of the above-mentioned activities, with consequences on the efficient regulation, quality and safety as well as the monitoring of vaccines across the world.