WHA6 – GVAP [Global Vaccine Action Plan] – Session Overview from Dr JM Okwo-Bele

WHA6 – GVAP [Global Vaccine Action Plan] Session
Overview from Dr JM Okwo-Bele
Director, Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals (IVB) Department

…Twenty five speakers, including 20 delegates from Member States, one observer (Chinese Taipei), three civil society organizations and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance took the floor during the discussion on the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP).

Delegates welcomed the GVAP assessment report on progress towards the achievement of global immunization goals and commended the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on immunization for their recommendations.

While delegates commented on the fact that the global vaccination targets remain off-track with gaps in immunization coverage, and slow progress in the elimination of maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT), measles and rubella, they also noted that when countries and partners establish and enforce clear accountability systems, measure results and take corrective actions when results are not achieved, gaps in immunization can be closed.

Delegates acknowledged the first report to the Health Assembly on the newly adopted resolution on access to affordable vaccines. Access to sustainable supplies of affordable vaccines for low and middle income countries can be accelerated if partners and countries work together to ensure transparency in vaccine prices, develop pooled procurement mechanisms and increase the capacity of emerging manufactures to produce vaccines of assured quality to foster competition for a healthy vaccine market.

More specifically, delegates acknowledged the need for WHO to facilitate GVAP implementation and continue to play an important and leading role in:
:: Updating existing guidance for vaccination in humanitarian emergencies and providing further guidance on sustaining routine immunization in conflict areas and countries facing crisis, including outbreaks of diseases, such as the Zika, Ebola and Yellow Fever outbreaks;
:: Improving the management of the international emergency vaccines stockpiles;
:: Supporting countries to make evidence-based decisions on new vaccines introductions which is critical to ensure the efficient use of resources, sustainability and affordability of immunization programmes with high impact vaccines;
:: Supporting developing countries’ capacity to develop and produce vaccines to achieve affordable pricing;
:: Facilitating the provision of affordable lifesaving vaccines to countries currently facing humanitarian emergencies and to humanitarian organizations; and
:: Calling for an indicator that aligns with GVAP goals and objectives and helps track progress in immunization during the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) period…