At This Rate, the World Won't Meet 2020 Immunization Targets
The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) has released its 2015 report assessing progress on immunization around the world. The report assesses how countries are performing against targets in the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP), a roadmap to prevent millions of deaths by 2020 by achieving universal access to all vaccines.
Despite impressive progress in a number of countries, the world is off track on all but one of the GVAP targets. We are halfway through the Decade of Vaccines, but only three of the six World Health Organization (WHO) regions have vaccine action plans in place. To get back on track with GVAP’s targets, the report calls for monitoring, accountability and leadership at the regional, national and subnational levels.
SAGE encourages partner organizations to support countries in their efforts. Sabin’s Sustainable Immunization Financing (SIF) program, which is engaged with 22 countries, could serve as a model for building accountability through country-led solutions. SIF empowers its partner countries to achieve long-term, domestic financing for immunization, bringing national counterparts together to learn from each other and develop institutional solutions such as legislation, domestic advocacy coalitions and financial management practices.
As the report acknowledges, we will not see significant progress on every disease every year. But only five years remain until the 2020 deadline, and the world will not meet its GVAP targets without a significant acceleration in progress. According to SAGE, the isolated improvements seen in some countries “will have to become the norm if the plan is to get back on track.”