New Global Vaccine Strategy Glosses Over Basic Immunization Gaps
A new, ten-year, multi-billion dollar action plan for global vaccination may fail to deliver if it does not directly address the weaknesses in routine immunization programs. Nineteen million children are being missed each year and this challenge must be explicitly addressed,MSF said today.
A “Global Vaccines Action Plan” has been designed to implement the “Decade of Vaccines” project and will be considered by health ministers gathering next week in Geneva for the 65th World Health Assembly. MSF welcomed the increased emphasis on vaccines stimulated by the “Decade of Vaccines” but expressed concern that some key challenges are being glossed over.
“The Global Vaccine Action Plan works on the assumption that basic vaccination programs are going well, and that’s just not the reality in many places where we work,” said Dr. Estrella Lasry of MSF. “Focusing on the newest vaccines without boosting existing systems is not a strategy that will benefit the most children: we can’t just keep piling on new vaccines and fail to get the basics right.”
Photo:South Sudan 2011 © Avril Benoit/MSF
An MSF staff member vaccinates a child against measles in Abathok.