The Role of Immunization Managers
Tremendous gains have been made in immunizations over the last 40 years. Smallpox has been eradicated, poliomyelitis eradication is in sight and progress is being made in measles control. Global immunization coverage for basic vaccines is at its highest, and new vaccines are being added to immunization systems. However, challenges remain and will increase in complexity as new vaccines are added to immunization programs.
Immunization managers play a critical role in addressing these challenges, as they are the ones who must skillfully manage and integrate each of the elements of a successful immunization program: cost-effective and dependable procurement processes, reliable funding, an effective cold chain, consistent monitoring of vaccine safety and efficacy, effective surveillance systems, productive and proactive communication with the public, and well-trained health workers.
"How well an immunization manager performs his or her job can make the difference in whether the immunization program succeeds; yet these professionals often are not provided with the opportunities for training, peer-to-peer discussion and exchange and skill-building that they need to advance immunization programs. Therefore, it is both welcome and timely that we now have an international association for immunization program managers that can equip them with the right tools and professional network for the job."
-Dr. David Salisbury, president of the newly-formed Association’s ad hoc Governing Council and director of immunisation in the United Kingdom’s Department of Health