Speakers in this panel highlighted the importance of working together to achieve the Decade of Vaccines’ vision to improve health by extending by 2020 and beyond the full benefits of immunization to all people, regardless of where they are born, who they are or where they live
Copyright GAVI/2011/Riccardo Gangale
On 25 May 2012, the World Health Assembly (WHA) endorsed the Global Vaccine Action Plan and stakeholders are now jointly moving into the implementation phase.
All speakers in this panel highlighted the importance of working together to achieve the Decade of Vaccines’ vision to improve health by extending by 2020 and beyond the full benefits of immunization to all people, regardless of where they are born, who they are or where they live.
They reinforced that it is essential to translate the GVAP’s Goals and Strategic Objectives into actionable plans at the country, regional and global level, and within their organizations.
Speakers emphasised that all partners – governments and elected officials, health professionals, academia, manufacturers, global agencies, development partners, civil society, media and the private sector – need to commit to achieving the ambitious goals of the GVAP. It is clear that given the challenges ahead, business as usual will not be enough if we are to ensure universal access to immunization.
The ultimate success of the GVAP depends on country ownership and the continued engagement of all stakeholders.
To be able to extend immunization to everyone, it is essential to ensure adequate resources, develop supportive health systems and infrastructure and work with countries to train health workers needed to reach remote and marginalized populations.
The panel also articulated the need for a concerted effort to develop new and improved vaccines and technologies that will help maximize the benefits of immunization around the world for years to come. A Monitoring & Evaluation / Accountability Framework has been put in place to monitor progress and report back every year during the WHA.
The session concluded with a powerful emphasis on the need for country commitment, with Mrs. Graça Machel stating the need for communities to know and own the Decade of Vaccines, what their responsibilities are, and what they can receive. “We need to commit to and prioritize immunization, sustain the commitment, and inform and engage all partners.”