WASHINGTON, D.C. — August 25, 2016 — The Sabin Vaccine Institute announced today that it has received an award of US$468,328 from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support initiatives to improve sustainable immunization financing. The project, conducted in partnership with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), will support sustainable financing, planning and decision-making for immunization programs in low- and middle-income countries. The program will launch in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal and Kenya in 2016.

For nearly a decade, Sabin has worked with national leaders to strengthen immunization financing in 21 countries around the world, benefiting as many as 1 billion people. Sabin has assisted countries to dramatically increase their immunization budgets, track resources and develop novel financing arrangements. Sabin also guided three countries to pass laws establishing and protecting funding for immunization. This legislation will pave the way for healthier lives for more than 100 million children.

The new initiative will enhance Sabin’s current work and utilize the approaches and tools of PAHO’s ProVac Initiative, which provides economic modelling tools to help countries make decisions about new vaccines and to build the economic case for vaccination. ProVac has advised 24 countries on how to gather data, conduct economic analyses and communicate results. For example, ProVac worked with disease modeling experts to develop tools that help countries calculate the cost of preventing a death from cervical cancer, influenza, hepatitis, rotavirus or pneumococcal disease.

“The support that the CDC is providing to the Sabin Vaccine Institute clearly demonstrates our steadfast, shared commitment to country-led solutions for immunization,” said Jon Andrus, Executive Vice President and Director of Sabin’s Vaccine Advocacy and Education program. “There is no one-size-fits-all immunization policy or financing solution. We work closely with our national partners to ensure they have the tools, the expertise and the data they need to make informed, strategic decisions, but our ultimate goal is to empower these countries to chart their own course.”

With the advent of new vaccines, low- and middle-income countries face growing costs for immunization with perpetually limited resources. External donors currently cover the majority of these costs, with only 15 countries in Africa funding more than 50 percent of their immunization expenditures. As their economies grow, low- and middle-income countries will become ineligible for donor support. To prepare for this transition, countries have two challenges: to make prudent, informed decisions regarding vaccine introduction and to establish reliable financing for immunization from their own national budgets.

With decades of experience as a trusted advisor to government officials and other national leaders, Sabin is uniquely positioned to assist countries during this critical time. Sabin established the Sustainable Immunization Financing Program in 2008 to help countries independently finance their immunization programs. Sabin has worked with partner countries to develop sustainable solutions for immunization financing, encouraging transparent and accurate budget tracking for routine immunization, equipping public immunization financing advocates with the information they need, guiding legislators in the development of laws to establish and protect funding for immunization, and bringing national counterparts together to learn from each other. In 2015 alone, three countries increased their domestic immunization budgets by an average of 53 percent following Sabin-led advocacy workshops.

The project will continue Sabin’s work to encourage advocacy, accountability and empowerment toward country ownership of immunization programs to secure and sustain predictable financing.

To strengthen national capacity to develop evidence-based immunization policy, PAHO established the ProVac Initiative in 2004. As a part of the ProVac International Working Group, Sabin has helped transfer ProVac Initiative tools, methods and lessons used to inform vaccine introduction decisions to other regions. Using ProVac tools and approaches, this project will train and empower national teams to conduct their own economic analyses to make informed decisions about the introduction of new and underutilized vaccines into national immunization programs.

The project is 63.3 percent federally funded, with the balance (36.7 percent or US$271,529) of the funding coming from non-federal sources. The project award is for US$468,328 for the first year and continued annual support for up to five years subject to availability of funds and performance.

About the Sabin Vaccine Institute
The Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to reducing needless human suffering from vaccine-preventable and neglected tropical diseases worldwide. Sabin develops new vaccines, advocates for increased use of existing vaccines and promotes expanded access to affordable medical treatments in collaboration with governments, academic institutions, scientists, medical professionals and non-profit organizations. For more information please visit www.sabin.org.

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