As 2019 begins, the global immunization community is looking at the exciting decade ahead. The introduction of new life-saving vaccines will reduce morbidity and mortality for generations into the future. From rotavirus vaccines to prevent severe diarrhea in young children to the prevention of cervical cancer in women with HPV vaccine, reductions in vaccine-preventable diseases worldwide have been possible thanks to the millions of people who value and accept vaccination for themselves and their children. However, in this era of continually developing technology, increasing access to information, and the rapid spread of infectious diseases, it is more important than ever for people around the world—in rural, mobile, fragile, and urban communities—to understand the value of preventive health and to have access to immunization services.
Over the next year, JSI’s Immunization Center will produce a series of blogs on the current state of immunization. We have been working with the World Health Organization, GAVI, UNICEF, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID and other international organizations in development and implementation of the current Global Vaccination Action Plan, and are excited to be part of its iteration for 2020 and beyond. We value the trust and close collaboration with ministries of health and civil society organizations in countries in Africa, Asia, and elsewhere that allows us to strengthen immunization programs and quality of care at national, health facility, and community levels.
The series will highlight pressing immunization issues from quality and equity of service delivery (through approaches like Reaching Every District, Quality Improvement with Remote Populations, and Periodic Intensification of Routine Immunization with fragile communities) to life-course vaccination and challenges of urban immunization. We will look at global and regional efforts to advocate and improve country commitments to vaccination programs, such as the Ministerial Decree on Immunization in Africa and the WHO Africa immunization business case, as well as empowerment of individuals through tracking their children’s vaccination schedule through home-based records.
We look forward to engaging with you throughout the year and welcome your comments. It is through our collective work that we will continue to protect populations from morbidity and mortality from vaccine-preventable diseases.