Vaccine Preventable Diseases
Immunization, together with improvements in hygiene and sanitation, has revolutionized child health worldwide.
Since the launch of the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) in 1974, millions of deaths have been prevented every year by delivery of infant immunization through national immunization programmes.
This section describes the vaccines commonly used in national immunization programmes, as well as some that are used in special risk groups or populations.
As a general rule, vaccines for large-scale public health use should:
- Meet the quality requirements as defined in the current WHO policy statement on vaccine quality.
- Be safe and have a significant impact on the actual disease in all target populations.
- If intended for infants or young children, be easily adapted to the schedules and timing of the national childhood immunization service.
- Not interfere significantly with the immune response to other vaccines given simultaneously.
- Be formulated to meet common technical limitations, e.g. in terms of refrigeration and storage capacity.
- Be appropriately priced for different markets.
The above information can be found in the WHO vaccine position papers for each disease.
Last updated 28 November 2008