The Republic of Armenia is pursuing a financially sustainable public immunization program through legislation and enhanced budget oversight. Sabin’s Sustainable Immunization Financing (SIF) Program worked with officials in Armenia from 2015 to 2017.
National Immunization Program Structure
The Armenian EPI is managed through two Ministry of Health entities: the State Hygiene and Anti-epidemic Inspection (SHAEI) and the National Center for Disease Control.
Government Spending on Immunization
Over the period 2006-2014, Armenia’s Gross National Income increased 91 percent from US$1,990 to $3,810 per capita. According to the WHO/UNICEF Joint Reporting Form (JRF), the Armenian government spent $2 on routine immunization per surviving infant in 2006. By 2014, government contributions had increased forty-fold, to $84. The government share of total routine immunization expenditures rose from 50 percent to 99 percent over the period. Though JRF financial indicators have been reported inconsistently since 2010, the data nevertheless suggest that Armenia has progressed towards country ownership of its immunization program. Among SIF countries, Armenia ranked first in terms of routine immunization spending per surviving infant in 2016.
Legislation for Sustainability
Armenia’s constitution provides protections for health and health care, but there is no overarching immunization law.
Chapter 2, Article 33.2, of Armenia’s Constitution (1995) states, “Everyone shall have the right to live in an environment favorable to his/her health and well-being and shall be obliged to protect and improve it in person or jointly with others.”
Chapter 2, Article 48, of Armenia’s Constitution (1995) states that a basic task of the state is “to implement health care programs for the population and contribute to the effective and affordable medical service for the population.”
In Armenia, immunization is regulated by ministerial decrees on sanitarian norms and rules. For each vaccine, including new vaccines, there is a separate ministerial decree that sets instructions and conditions for implementation.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) is formulating a Public Health Law which is slated to provide for public immunization financing.
Expenditure tracking is an important component of the country’s sustainable immunization financing trajectory. Armenian counterparts analyzed national immunization program budget flows for 2012-2013 and 2014-2015 using the SIF Budget Process tool.
SIF Program Inputs
- March 2016: Sabin Senior Program Officer meets with MOH Finance Unit Director to analyze proposed and approved budget, EPI Manager and team to complete the SIF budget flow analysis for 2014-2015
- October 2015: SIF Director, Senior Program Officer and national immunization manager meet with members of the Parliamentary Health Committee
- March 2015: Sabin Senior Program Officer meets with representatives from EPI, National Center for Disease Control & Prevention, and Head of MOH Financing-Economic Unit to analyze the immunization budget flow and to document the immunization budget process
Last Updated July 11, 2016