On January 23, Mongolia held its first ever National Parliamentary briefing on sustainable immunization financing (SIF). SIF Senior Program Officer Khongorzul Dari reports that the meeting was a big success.

Members of the Mongolian Parliament and officials from the Ministry of Health and other government departments were among those that attended the conference. The Vice Minister of Health opened the meeting, which included several presentations on the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) and immunization financing.

The conference received a good deal of media attention.  It was broadcast on the national news in Mongolia, including a special economic program on Eagle TV.  It was also published in the English newspaper, The Mongol Messenger, as well as the Ulaanbaatar Post.

Mongolia has a strong EPI program with a long track record of successfully controlling vaccine-preventable diseases. Immunization financing is a concern as GAVI support for pentavalent vaccine will soon end and the government will need to purchase all of its vaccines. Last week’s parliamentary briefing is an important step towards achieving the goals of Sabin’s SIF program and ensuring that measures are in place to continue all necessary immunization activities in the country.

This story was also featured on Vaccine News Daily.