Madrid, Spain — February 1, 2017 — Today, the International Association of Immunization Managers (IAIM), based at the Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin), began its first-ever regional meeting for members from the Americas and Europe. Immunization experts from around the world have gathered to discuss vaccine acceptance and demand, as well as how to measure vaccine knowledge and perceptions, over the course of the two-day conference.  

An estimated one in five children lack access to live-saving vaccines. To reach the “fifth child,” requires strengthening and expanding immunization programs.

Immunization managers, who lead each country’s immunization system, are tasked with ensuring that vaccines are delivered in the right quantities, at the right time and to the right people.  These unsung heroes are also responsible for responding to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, organizing national immunization days, communicating with the public about vaccines and ensuring that they have up-to-date immunization records for their population. However, they do not often receive management and leadership training – the very skills that will enable them to advance the performance of their immunization system.

Overcoming the challenges surrounding issues of vaccine acceptance and demand is one critical step in improving immunization coverage rates. Throughout IAIM’s two-day meeting, speakers will address how immunization managers can foster vaccine confidence through their leadership and technical skills. IAIM is the first organization that specifically targets this need, providing immunization managers with management training in a marketplace dominated by technical training programs. By bringing together immunization managers from across the Americas and Europe for a comprehensive, multi-day discussion of how to enhance and develop critical management and leadership skills in the field, immunization systems within the region will be strengthened, thus helping to extend the benefits of vaccination to everyone.

“From the beginning of my time at Sabin, I have been inspired by the community and mission driving IAIM,” said Amy Finan, CEO of the Sabin Vaccine Institute. “Sabin is proud to have brought together such an outstanding group of experts and health professionals to discuss an issue of such critical importance, and I look forward to the conversation ahead.”

More than 70 attendees are expected to participate in the inaugural meeting, which runs February 1-2, 2017. Countries represented at the meeting will include Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Georgia, Ghana, Honduras, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Mexico, Moldova, Nepal, Netherlands, Oman, Paraguay, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turks and Caicos Islands, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

During the regional meeting, participants will discuss and exchange best practices in their shared efforts to implement and strengthen immunization programs across the Americas and Europe. Discussions will include vaccine hesitancy, acceptance and demand; best practices for generating trust and acceptance in vaccine services; financing vaccine introduction; and building community and program resilience, among other topics.

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About the Sabin Vaccine Institute

The Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization of scientists, researchers and advocates dedicated to reducing needless human suffering from vaccine-preventable and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Since its founding in 1993 in honor of Dr. Albert B. Sabin, the developer of the oral polio vaccine, Sabin has been at the forefront of global efforts to eliminate, prevent and cure infectious and neglected tropical diseases.

 

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