The Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) is a framework to improve health by extending the full benefits of immunization to all people. Approved by the World Health Assembly in May 2012, the GVAP was created to achieve the Decade of Vaccines’ vision of delivering universal access to immunization by 2020.

The development of the GVAP represents one of the most promising opportunities to close persistent, life-threatening gaps in immunization rates and achieve a long-elusive goal of providing the world’s poor with the same access to vaccines available to wealthier individuals.

The GVAP is supported by multiple stakeholders involved in immunization, including governments and elected officials, health professionals, academia, manufacturers, global agencies, development partners, civil society, media and the private sector.

The Sabin Vaccine Institute is working hard to assist national vaccine teams involved with promoting the case for immunization and developing policies to sustain vaccine programs at the country level.

For example, Sabin’s Sustainable Immunization Financing (SIF) program is working with nearly a score of countries to create sustainable immunization programs by enacting new immunization laws, implementing budget line items for immunization and Improving accounting and data management for immunization programs.

Another Sabin initiative, the International Association of Immunization Managers (IAIM) is supporting the achievement of national, regional, and international immunization goals by establishing a forum for immunization managers to share best practices, participate in peer-to-peer learning and exchange, and develop their technical and leadership capacity.

Sabin’s meningococcal, rotavirus, rubella and pneumococcal advocacy activities encourage accelerated vaccine introduction within countries, leverage new research to improve disease estimates, and convene stakeholders around the world to discuss relevant research that will inform public health agendas – all with the aim of delivering universal access to these vaccines.

Also contributing to the Decade of Vaccine goals, the Dengue Vaccine Initiative (DVI) is working to expedite new vaccine introduction by laying the groundwork in endemic areas so that, once licensed, vaccines to prevent dengue will be swiftly adopted. In addition, the Coalition against Typhoid (CaT) is addressing global policy barriers by provision of evidence for use of licensed Typhoid conjugate vaccines and generating discussions for epidemiological research and vaccine development for salmonella paratyphi and non-typhoidal salmonella infections. Sabin is also working to assess and strengthen the laboratory capacity for diagnosis of pertussis.

The world is at a critical point in the Decade of Vaccines.  Achieving equitable access to immunization is in reach, but urgency is needed. Through increased country- and regional -level advocacy, improved coordination of global and regional partners, and engaging non-traditional partners to support country-level immunization efforts, we can achieve a world with universal access to immunization.