Expert report reveals uneven progress toward global immunization targets

The Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) set ambitious but achievable goals to save thousands of lives through vaccination in what is called the Decade of Vaccines (2010-2020). In its third report on progress towards GVAP goals, the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) warns that the Plan is not on course to achieve its true potential. While good progress and even historic achievements have been made in some countries, isolated improvements will have to become the norm if the plan is to get back on track. 

At this critical midpoint of the Decade of Vaccines, SAGE makes 9 recommendations that can take GVAP forward towards success, including:

  • improving monitoring and accountability at national and subnational levels;
  • strengthening leadership and accountability frameworks 
  • implementing targeted approaches to reach children consistently missed by the routine delivery system;
  • securing the required resources for countries to implement their measles and rubella elimination or control strategies and plans.

Implementation in Europe

The European Region is one of three WHO regions that have translated GVAP into a regional framework, the European Vaccine Action Plan. Among its goals is the elimination of measles and rubella from the Region by the end of 2015. To achieve this goal, countries need at least 95% immunization coverage with a measles and rubella-containing vaccine or better – nationally and across every district. The European Region has made tremendous progress, however as noted in the SAGE report, it is off track to meet this goal. 

Success stories

While calling for greater efforts and national accountability, the SAGE report also highlights success stories and gains, including

  • breakthroughs in new vaccine development;
  • better data on vaccine pricing;
  • improvements in data quality, supply and community involvement. 

The SAGE report is available in English, French, Spanish and soon also Russian.