Fiscal sustainability is the key to safeguarding public health and building healthy, thriving populations.

In accordance with the GAVI model, we believe self-sufficiency must be the ultimate goal of national immunization programs. In the short term, many countries will need to mobilize and efficiently use both domestic and supplementary external resources to achieve their stated immunization financing goals. This approach allows countries to develop secured, long-term funding arrangements as they build stable, high-performing immunization systems.

Three routes are available to achieve a sustainable immunization system:

  1.  increasing existing national government immunization allotments, from both general revenue and social insurance contributions;
  2. identifying new domestic funding from the private sector or new government sources;
  3. identifying new external funding, such as new donors and debt relief.

Improving Affordability of New Vaccines

Increasing affordability for newer vaccines is an important piece of the sustainability puzzle. Two new mechanisms— International Finance Facility for Immunisation and Advanced Market Commitments— allow donor countries to commit funds to GAVI for future vaccine orders and the development of new vaccines.

Sustainability, however, also requires initiatives at the country level.
Within the health sector, more revenue should be allocated to the national immunization system, subject to the additionality test. Additional resources will:

  • Move governments closer to their stated goal of expanded health budgets
  • Strengthen infrastructure for use on other health programs
  • Reduce the out-of-pocket cost burden on the poor
  • Reduce donor dependency
  • Demonstrate a government’s commitment to securing an important public good

Can this be done five years? Sabin believes it can. The global community is already committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Sustainable financing for immunization and other vital health services is an essential milestone on that path. The Sustainable Immunization Financing Program is dedicated to helping countries make that journey.