World Health Assembly 2012

21-26 MAY 2012 | GENEVA

Global Vaccine Plan

Global Vaccine Action Plan and World Immunization Week endorsed

25 MAY 2012 - Ministers of Health from 194 countries at the 65th World Health Assembly endorsed the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP), a roadmap to prevent millions of deaths by 2020 through more equitable access to vaccines for people in all communities. In addition, Member States also designate the last week of April as World Immunization Week.

Thirty-eight speakers including country delegates, partners such as UNICEF and GAVI Alliance and civil society organizations took the floor in massive support of the GVAP.

The delegates commended the high quality GVAP report, which was developed through extensive consultations with 142 countries and 1100 immunization partners worldwide. Delegates expressed broad support for the GVAP guiding principles, strategic objectives and stakeholder responsibilities. Delegates also congratulated WHO for the successful implementation of the first-ever World Immunization Week in 2012.

Several countries highlighted their achievements in: increasing vaccination coverage; reaching more children with existing vaccines; preventing disease outbreaks; using new vaccines against diarrhoea and pneumonia; and implementing advocacy events such as immunization weeks to highlight the importance of vaccines and immunization in saving lives.

Delegates also highlighted several key issues including the need to:

  • Mobilize more resources to support low and middle income countries to implement GVAP and monitor impact;
  • Ensure that support to countries to implement GVAP include a strong focus on strengthening routine immunization; and
  • Facilitate vaccine technology transfer to developing countries and promote strategies to bring down vaccine prices.

Following the endorsement by the Health Assembly, WHO will lead efforts ― using existing partnership and coordinating mechanisms ― to support regions and countries to adapt the GVAP into national action plans. In addition, WHO and partners will establish a monitoring and accountability framework for discussion at the Health Assembly in 2013.

Other immunization-related topics for discussion by delegates at the Health Assembly include the sharing of influenza viruses and access to vaccines; intensification of the global polio eradication initiative; and the progress report on cholera control and viral hepatitis.