Accelerated Vaccine Introduction (AVI) Priority Project
The objective of the project is to
implement a mechanism for accelerating introduction of new and underused
vaccines of public health importance in the developing world by 2003.
Barriers to new vaccine introduction in developing countries include lack
of efficacy, burden and cost effectiveness information for developing
country settings, the need for technical assistance with introduction,
logistics, supply and quality control issues, and lack of funding for
vaccines. The AVI project was developed in early 1999 to focus on critical
points in the vaccine evaluation and introduction continuum at which WHO
activity can make a substantial difference. The project involves
activities in each of V&B's teams, and addresses the following areas -
efficacy, burden and cost effectiveness, vaccine quality, vaccine supply
and financing, and introduction into immunization programmes.
Key accomplishments so far:
Efficacy - Co-ordination of the
pneumococcal vaccine investigator group.
Burden and cost effectiveness -
Collaboration with partners to develop burden and/or cost effectiveness
tools for hepatitis b, pneumococcal, and Hib vaccines.
Quality of biologicals - Completion of
guidelines for Hib conjugate vaccines, and work on guidelines for control
of meningococcal and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines initiated, as well as
development of reference reagents for this work.
Supply and financing of vaccines -
Addition of two new staff to assist with financing and supply issues at a
global, and country level. Collaboration with partners on the Global Fund
for Children's Vaccines and evaluation of supply needs for new vaccines in
view of recent GAVI initiatives.
Technical assistance with new vaccine
introduction - Addition of 4 regional level medical officers to assist
with regional and national prioritization of vaccine needs, strategy
development, and technical assistance with introduction, including burden
assessment and advocacy. An assessment tool for immunization services,
including modules for new vaccine introduction, was developed with
partners as part of a broad approach to immunization programme improvement
and new vaccine introduction.