Planning, Financing and Procurement
As the global immunization community advocates implementation of new and more expensive vaccines, the burden on national budgets to sustain the cost of these new vaccines is increasing. The goal of reaching more children with newer vaccines has resulted in increases not only to cover increased vaccine costs, but also for the additional investment required in the immunization delivery systems. Given constraints on national budgets, cost-effectiveness analyses help to determine the value for money of immunization programmes compared to alternative investments in health.
In the past, the global immunization community's efforts in vaccine introduction have prioritized assistance to the poorest countries, in particular the 72 countries eligible for financial and programme assistance from the GAVI Alliance. However, middle income countries also need access to the same new vaccines and are increasingly facing important financial constraints and barriers to procure products on the international market, and additional focus on introducing new vaccines in middle-income countries is required to rectify this disparity.
The financial challenge presented by the long-term use of new vaccines has been a strong incentive to strengthen national capacities in financial planning for immunization in a health systems context. Policies that promote co-financing will help countries to recognize and begin to address the financial challenges of introducing these vaccines and thus guarantee their affordability in the long-term. Since 2006, WHO, UNICEF and GAVI have promoted the use of comprehensive multi-year planning as a mechanism to systematically address the main strategic approaches for efficient immunization programme delivery and appropriate financial planning.
WHO and partners also provide technical expertise to countries to assure that adequate quantities of high quality and affordable vaccines are purchased by countries to meet national immunization needs and to increase capacity building within countries to improve vaccine provision through strategies directed towards sustainable financing and procurement.
Pooled procurement is potentially one of the strategies to make vaccines more affordable to a group of countries jointly procuring vaccines and medical products and technologies. Immunization partners are supporting countries in the EMR and AFR region with options to develop pooled procurement mechanisms.
Last updated: September 2010