It is severely impacting immunization programs, leaving tens of millions of children at risk of deadly diseases. Addressing the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the power of vaccines to fight disease, save lives, and create a healthier, safer, and more prosperous future.
The Immunization Agenda 2030 (IA2030) is an ambitious global strategy aimed towards maximizing the impact of vaccines. Immunization services are a backbone to health systems, central to pandemic preparedness and response, and key to preventing the burden of “double epidemics” as societies reopen. As such, IA2030 has a crucial role to play in putting the world back on a pathway towards Universal Health Coverage and achievement of the SDGs. It will help strengthen primary health care as a cornerstone for achieving global health security, support innovation, and improve access and equity of vaccines and immunization programs.
Fully implemented, IA2030 will help avert an estimated 50 million deaths, help maintain hard-won gains in immunization, and recover from disruptions caused by COVID-19. It will help increase equitable access to vaccines for everyone, and strengthen the reach of immunization to ensure that zero-dose children – those who have never received any routine vaccine – and children who are under-immunized benefit from the full course of vaccines, regardless of location, socioeconomic status, or gender-related barriers.
We are calling on government representatives at the World Health Assembly to support IA2030, including:
- Achieving 90% coverage of essential vaccines given in childhood and adolescence.
- Halving the number of children completely missing out on vaccines , or zero-dose children by 2030.
- Completing 500 national or subnational introductions of new or under-utilized vaccines - such as those for COVID-19, rotavirus, or human papillomavirus (HPV).
- Developing and implementing ambitious national plans for immunization that align with the IA2030 strategy by translating the IA2030 targets at the national level.
- Prioritising contextually differentiated and targeted sub-national strategies to reach zero-dose children and missed communities with a full course of vaccines and essential primary health care.
- Closing vaccine equity gaps and addressing barriers to access so that everyone can benefit from vaccination.
- Increasing investments in vaccine research and innovation, development, and delivery to make immunization accessible to all at all ages and strengthen routine immunization systems.
- Putting gender equality at the core of immunization programs addressing direct and indirect barriers to immunization service access shaped by gender and gender inequality, including those related to access to health information, resources, decision-making about vaccination, and people’s experiences of health services.
- Include civil society organizations in the implementation of IA2030 to:
- Complement the public sector delivery of immunization , particularly to reach zero dose children in urban/peri-urban, remote, rural or conflict settings
- Ensure programs are shaped by and responsive to community needs to increase community demand for immunization
- Support an enabling political and policy environment for immunization that is accountable to its people.
- Requesting the pharmaceutical industry and scientists, and their investors, to accelerate vaccine research and development, and ensure a continuous supply of affordable vaccines to meet global needs. It is important to apply lessons learned in terms of development, manufacturing, accessibility and supply from COVID-19.
- Reporting back on progress in implementing IA2030 at national, regional and global levels so that we can collectively track, measure and evaluate the success of this ambitious strategy.