WASHINGTON, D.C. – February 21, 2017 – Today, a new resource guide, Immunization Financing: A Resource Guide for Advocates, Policymakers, and Program Managers, was released to provide practical advice to low- and middle-income countries seeking to mobilize resources for immunization programs. The guide offers 26 briefs, including eight country case studies, to assist countries looking to sustainably finance immunization.
The resource guide was developed as an open-access tool to assist advocates and decision-makers as they evaluate the pros and cons of potential financing sources. The guide is also designed to help users understand and plan for immunization costs, assess which vaccines to adopt, learn how to build broad political support for immunization programs, and determine how to make limited funds work more effectively.
Several major emerging global trends make this resource guide even more relevant:
- Many countries have made historic commitments to immunization in recent years, including the endorsement of the Global Vaccine Action Plan in 2012 by all 194 World Health Assembly member states and the 2016 Addis Declaration on Immunization, in which African countries committed to increasing domestic financing for both vaccines and immunization service delivery.
- The number of new, lifesaving vaccines has continued to expand, offering unprecedented opportunities to countries, but also requiring increased financing.
- Additionally, many countries that have experienced economic growth are transitioning away from external support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to full domestic financing.
Immunization is among the most safe, impactful and cost-effective health interventions available. Immunization programs save two million lives per year, and because of vaccines, smallpox has been eradicated. A recent analysis published in Health Affairs found that every dollar low- and middle-income countries invest to expand access to vaccines returns $16, and the return increases to $44 once broader economic benefits are taken into account.
Funding immunization in low- and middle-income countries can be a major challenge. Although immunization coverage in the poorest countries has improved significantly, one in five children in Africa still do not receive the most basic vaccines. Governments face difficult decisions when determining where and how to spend limited funding. They face many competing priorities, including, for example, investments in other health interventions, infrastructure development and education. Immunization requires careful planning and sustained funding by governments. The guide’s case studies provide helpful examples detailing different financing approaches that nations have adopted.
“The governments of low- and middle-income countries often tell us that they need practical tools that will help them determine how to mobilize domestic resources and to ensure that funds are being used efficiently and effectively,” said Gina Lagomarsino, president and CEO of Results for Development. “This immunization financing resource guide — which draws on examples from peer countries — provides exactly the kind of information that decision-makers need.”
The Immunization Financing Resource Guide is currently available in English. It will be translated into French in mid-2017. The guide was produced by Results for Development, based on research funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The resource guide is an update to the Immunization Financing Toolkit: A Resource for Policy-Makers and Program Managers, published by the World Bank and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, in December 2010.