WHO/Europe works with Member States to accelerate the introduction of rotavirus vaccine and to establish a regional surveillance network to collect local data on disease burden and monitor the impact of vaccines. It facilitates the sharing of knowledge and good practice through meetings and workshops held across the Region, and provides guidance and technical support in collecting evidence and making informed decisions about whether, when and how to introduce the vaccine.

Preparation for vaccine introduction

Once the decision to introduce rotavirus vaccine is made, the Regional Office assists national immunization programmes in preparations to introduce the new vaccine and monitor progress. This includes educating medical professionals and academics to ensure their support and acceptance, as well as providing the ministries of health with technical support, such as in training vaccinators.

In January 2015, Tajikistan became the 14th Member State in the WHO European Region to introduce rotavirus vaccine into its routine national immunization schedule.

Post-introduction evaluation

WHO/Europe supports Member States in conducting post-introduction evaluations to assess the impact of new vaccines on immunization programmes and disease burden, and to develop lessons learnt for future vaccine introductions. Member States are encouraged to utilize the introduction of pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines as a catalyst to prioritize and scale up other interventions to prevent and treat pneumonias and diarrhoeas.