Introduction of new vaccines into national routine immunization programmes
The decision of whether to add a new vaccine into a national immunization schedule is influenced by multiple factors, including affordability and relative cost-effectiveness, disease burden, availability and price of vaccines, and safety and suitability of available vaccine products for national programmes. Once the decision is made to add a new vaccine, several steps are needed to ensure its successful introduction and sustainable use.
WHO/Europe supports Member States through the entire process of decision-making, introduction and management of new and underutilized vaccines and post-introduction monitoring. It facilitates the sharing of knowledge and good practice through meetings and workshops held across the Region, and provides guidance and technical support to countries in collecting evidence and making informed decisions about whether, when and how to introduce new antigens. It helps educate medical professionals and academics about the new vaccine to ensure their support and acceptance, and with training of vaccinators. Post-introduction evaluations are also supported to assess the impact of new vaccines on disease burden and develop lessons learnt for future vaccine introductions.