Immunization remains one of the most cost-effective and impactful public health interventions available. However, maintaining high rates of immunization coverage, which is essential for a persistent reduction in the incidence of vaccine-preventable infectious diseases, requires sufficient and sustained investment. As low- and lower-middle-income countries scale up the use of new and routine lifesaving vaccines — and as countries increasingly transition out of donor support — significant increases in domestic financing for immunization programs will be needed to expand and maintain immunization programs and coverage worldwide.
For countries to be able to sustainably finance immunization programs, both country strategies and global policies on eligibility, co-financing and transition need to be well defined, comprehensive and up to date. Government decision-makers need access to the latest information on the full array of policy options, strategies and challenges of immunization financing, and country practitioners need to be able to learn from their peers to address immunization program challenges that exist within broader health systems and universal health coverage reform processes.
R4D’s experts promote shared learning and informed policy options for immunization by supporting countries and development partners to:
- Conduct policy analyses on eligibility for donor assistance, transition, and co-financing and immunization financing for middle-income countries.
- Use practical guidance for program managers, advocates and policymakers about how to mobilize resources and use them efficiently for immunization programs.
- Equip local change agents as they evaluate the pros and cons of potential financing sources.
- Promote peer learning that enables country practitioners to come together and add to a global knowledge base of tools and approaches that contribute to successful transition.
R4D has carried out a series of global policy analyses for Gavi and WHO that have helped to shape the policy arena on country co-financing for immunization (2010), eligibility, transition and co-financing (2014-15) and immunization financing for middle-income countries (2014-16). The Immunization Financing Resource Guide (2017) was developed to provide program managers, advocates and policymakers with practical advice when seeking to mobilize resources and use them efficiently for immunization programs, and to equip these local change agents as they evaluate the pros and cons of potential financing sources.
To promote peer learning around Gavi transition and immunization program sustainability, R4D serves as the platform coordinator of a peer-learning platform for Gavi transitioning countries (2017). The platform works to enable country practitioners to come together and add to a global knowledge base of tools and approaches that contribute to successful transition.
Photo: Saidu Kay Sesay (far right) vaccinating children at the Princess Christian mMaternity Hospital on March 10, 2015 in Freetown, Sierra Leone. © Dominic Chavez/World Bank