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Vaccine. 2011 Nov 28;29(51):9459-66. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.10.030. Epub 2011 Oct 21.

Seasonal influenza vaccine provision in 157 countries (2004-2009) and the potential influence of national public health policies.

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IFPMA IVS, 15 Chemin Louis-Dunant, PO Box 195, 1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland.


Seasonal influenza places a major burden on public health. Consequently, the World Health Organization (WHO) and over 40% of national governments recommend vaccination of at-risk groups. However, no systematic global data are available to assess vaccine provision nor the effect of immunization policies. To address this situation, IFPMA IVS surveyed global vaccine supply, covering 157 countries from 2004 to 2009. The study also used UN data and a novel vaccine provision "hurdle" rate (set at 15.9% of the population, based on WHO immunization recommendations for the elderly) to compare vaccine supply with development status. In a sub-group of 26 countries, the level of vaccine provision was also correlated to the presence/absence of specific vaccination policies. Between 2004 and 2009, global annual vaccine provision increased 72% to 449 million doses. Europe and the Americas accounted for 75% to 80% of the total each year, with several countries in these regions, as well as China, Japan and Thailand, achieving notable increases during the study period. However, despite the global growth, only 20% of countries reached the study's modest "hurdle" rate. On a per capita basis, dose distribution did not correlate directly with income, and several less developed countries, particularly in Latin America, outperformed more developed nations (notably in Eastern and Southern Europe). In the sub-group analysis, the presence of official public health authority vaccination recommendations did not correlate well with higher vaccine supply (positive:negative correlation=1.3:1), while reimbursement (4.5:1) and the use of wide-scale communication activities (5.3:1) correlated more strongly than development status (2.7:1). This study shows that globally vaccination levels remain low, and official vaccination recommendations alone are insufficient to drive higher coverage. Rather, policy measures that directly impact patients (i.e. reimbursement and communication) appear more effective, irrespective of countries' development status, and therefore may do more to help protect local populations against influenza.

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