Immunization is key to achieving child survival goals
18 January 2011 - Member States ― meeting at the 128th session of the Executive Board today ― rally their support for the WHO/UNICEF Global Immunization Vision and Strategy (2006-2015) and its impact in guiding national immunization strategies to reach the child survival goals. Several countries shared their success stories including: Bangladesh with a near universal routine coverage and documented successes in introducing new vaccines; Burkina Faso, the first country to successfully introduce the new meningitis A conjugate vaccine; China successfully implemented the largest ever measles vaccination campaign in 2010; and Rwanda, the first African nation to introduce pneumococcal vaccine.
Mindful of the challenges ahead, Member States mentioned the need to: (1) ensure that introducing newer vaccines is not done at the expense of basic immunization; (2) expand the use of rubella vaccines; (3) maintain high measles vaccination coverage and not drop our guard against the disease, particularly in Africa where large scale measles outbreaks have occurred; (4) strengthen linkages between polio eradication efforts and routine immunization; (5) facilitate vaccine technology transfer to developing countries and promote other strategies to bring down the prices of life-saving vaccines and replicating the success of MenAfrVac; and (6) strengthen surveillance for vaccine-preventable diseases.
The Board commends WHO's leadership on the Decade of Vaccines, a vision for using the next 10 years to achieve immunization goals and reach important milestones in vaccine research, development and financing. More details on the Decade of Vaccines strategic framework will be presented for discussion at the 64th World Health Assembly in May 2011.