Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals

Principles and considerations for adding a vaccine to a national immunization programme

From decision to implementation and monitoring

World Health Organization

Publication details

Number of pages: 136
Publication date: April 2014
Languages: Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish
ISBN: 978 92 4 150689 2

This essential resource document reviews the principles and issues to be considered when making decisions about planning and implementing the introduction of a vaccine into a national immunization programme. Importantly, the document highlights ways to use the opportunity provided by the vaccine introduction to strengthen immunization and health systems. The comprehensive guidance also describes the latest references and tools related to vaccine decision-making, economic analyses, cold chain, integrated disease control and health promotion, vaccine safety, communications, monitoring, and more, and provides key URL links to many of these resources.

What is the purpose of these documents?

  • To assist countries in making informed decisions about adding a vaccine to a national immunization programme by considering its public health priority; programmatic, economic and financial feasibility; and impact on the immunization programme and on the overall health system.
  • To guide the planning of a smooth vaccine introduction.
  • To suggest ways to use the opportunity provided by the introduction of the vaccine to strengthen immunization and health systems.

Who can use these documents?

  • Country-level decision-makers in the health sector and other government sectors.
  • National immunization technical advisory groups.
  • Immunization programme managers.
  • Immunization advisors at the national, regional and global levels (e.g., from WHO, UNICEF, local and international NGOs).
  • Partners and donors that support immunization activities in countries.

When do you need these documents?

  • When deciding if and when introducing a vaccine into an immunization programme is appropriate and feasible.
  • After deciding to introduce a vaccine – to assist in planning the introduction in ways that strengthen the immunization programme and overall health system.

Annex 3: Template for a New Vaccine Introduction Plan

This is a generic template to guide countries in developing a practical plan for introducing a new vaccine. This template is intended to provide suggestions for key areas to be considered. Each country and vaccine introduction will have different characteristics and requirements, and thus each country’s introduction plan will need to be adjusted accordingly.

Word document in English, French, Russian and Spanish - January 2014 version.

Annex 4: New Vaccine Introduction Checklist, Activity List & Timeline

In order to ensure that all steps to guarantee a successful introduction of a new vaccine is planned and budgeted for, that roles and responsibilities are clear, and that a clear timeline is in place, countries are encouraged to use the New Vaccine Introduction Checklist to develop a New Vaccine Introduction Activity List and Timeline that reflects the country situation, and to regularly monitor and review these planning tools at planning and review meetings to oversee the new vaccine introduction. The Word document provides instructions on how to use the New Vaccine Introduction (NVI) Checklist worksheet of the Excel file and how to use the results of that worksheet to create a NVI Activity List and Timeline on the subsequent worksheet.