Improving the availability, quality and use of global immunization data
Progress towards the elimination of vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) in the European Region cannot be monitored or achieved without accurate, subnational data that is reported in good time to the national and global levels.
In conjunction with partner agencies, WHO is moving towards a more structured process of data collection from countries globally, and is improving available tools to support countries and measure their progress towards disease elimination goals.
As noted in the draft conclusions of the October 2018 meeting of the global Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on immunization, “VPD outbreaks expose gaps in vaccination coverage, surveillance and policy implementation. Opportunities to improve immunization and to pre-empt outbreaks require data, investment in data, and broad collaborations from countries, regions and the global level”.
Meetings on global immunization data collection
To ensure alignment of immunization data strategies across countries and partners, 3 meetings were organized in Budapest, Hungary in the week of 8–12 October 2018:
- The 8th global WHO and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) meeting on monitoring national immunization systems, held on 8 October 2018, aimed to ensure that all relevant data to monitor immunization systems’ performance and VPD prevalence at global and regional level are captured in the WHO and UNICEF joint reporting form.
- The Partners’ meeting on improving the availability, quality and use of data, held on 9–11 October 2018, aimed to align strategies for improving the quality and use of immunization and VPD data.
- The WHO and UNICEF meeting on the WHO Immunization Information System (WIISE), held on 12 October 2018, offered a platform to discuss partners’ and stakeholders’ expectations of the project. The WIISE project is a collection of applications to gather, manage, analyse and disseminate immunization and VPD surveillance data collected by WHO worldwide.
During the meetings, held for the first time in the WHO European Region, participants shared progress and experiences at global and country levels, brainstormed about future priorities, and coordinated joint efforts. Interactive working groups focused on many topics including workforce development, improving global coverage estimation, data for equity, data triangulation, electronic immunization registries, and data analysis and visualization.
Attendees included representatives of:
- WHO, UNICEF and the SAGE Working Group on Quality and Use of Global Immunization and Surveillance Data;
- ministries of health from Germany, Hungary, Lebanon and the Philippines;
- the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC);
- the American Red Cross; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; Gobee Group; the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation; Learning Strategies International; PATH; the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute; and John Snow Inc.