New and Under-utilized Vaccines Implementation (NUVI)
Launched in 1974, the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) was first designed to deliver vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles and tuberculosis (BCG) Together, these vaccines prevent close to 2.5 million deaths every year.
Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in the implementation of new and under-utilized vaccines providing additional prevention of untimely deaths and disabilities. These include vaccines against hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus), rotavirus, and rubella.
Other vaccines against a number of important public health problems have now been developed or have been improved. Vaccines against human papilloma virus (HPV) provide an opportunity to impact global cervical cancer morbidity and mortality through immunization activities in older age groups. Widespread use of vaccines of regional importance, such as those against Japanese Encephalitis, epidemic meningococcal meningitis, yellow fever, and typhoid could further decrease disease burden in some of the poorest countries of the world.
Parallel to this increase in the number of vaccine solutions, donors and partners have mobilized resources to support countries that are the most affected by these diseases and that can benefit the most from using these vaccines. In order to assist global partners to prioritize the most immediate requirements for introducing these vaccines, the Global Plan of Action for the Introduction of New and Under-utilized Vaccines was developed in consultation with country representatives.
Addition of new vaccines to routine infant immunization schedules requires several critical issues to be addressed at the country level. These include: decision-making and prioritization of these vaccines for use; addressing weaknesses in the immunization system to absorb new vaccines and ensure their equitable distribution; long term plans to secure sustainable use of the vaccines; and the integration of these vaccines within the broader context of disease prevention and control, by simultaneously scaling up the use of complementary disease control strategies.
Building on the successes of the routine immunization programmes of countries, the wide-spread use of new and under-utilized vaccines has the potential to contribute significantly to the Millennium Development Goal 4 of reducing global childhood mortality by two-thirds by 2015. To ensure that countries can make rational, evidence-based decisions about the choice of new vaccines and technologies, current gaps in knowledge related to disease burden, vaccine product characteristics, delivery systems, advocacy and communication, the cost-effectiveness of various strategies as well as regulatory issues will have to be filled.
This website is divided into strategies related to introducing new vaccines and includes key resources and tools. Vaccine specific information can be found by clicking on the "vaccines" tab.
Last reviewed: August 2010