New immunisation strategies: adapting to global challenges

Bundesgesundheitsblatt - Gesundheitsforschung - Gesundheitsschutz Volume 63, pp. 25–31
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Immunisation has made an enormous contribution to global health. Global vaccination coverage has dramatically improved and mortality rates among children due to vaccine-preventable diseases have been significantly reduced since the creation of the Expanded Programme of Immunisation in 1974, the formation of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, in 2000, and the development of the Global Vaccine Action Plan in 2012. However, challenges remain and persisting inequities in vaccine uptake contribute to the continued occurrence and outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. Inequalities in immunisation coverage by geography, urban-rural, and socio-economic status jeopardise the achievement of global immunisation goals and call for renewed immunisation strategies. These should take into account emerging opportunities for building better immunisation systems and services, as well as the development of new vaccine products and delivery technologies. Such strategies need to achieve equity in vaccination coverage across and within countries. This will require the participation of communities, a better understanding of vaccine acceptance and hesitancy, the expansion of vaccination across the life course, approaches to improve immunisation in middle-income countries, enhanced use of data and possible financial and non-financial incentives. Vaccines also have an important role to play in comprehensive disease control, including the fight against antimicrobial resistance. Lessons learned from disease eradication and elimination efforts of polio, measles and maternal and neonatal tetanus are instrumental in further enhancing global immunisation strategies in line with the revised goals and targets of the new Immunisation Agenda 2030, which is currently being developed.

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