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Health Policy Plan. 2012 May;27 Suppl 2:ii17-26. doi: 10.1093/heapol/czs040.

Introducing multiple vaccines in low- and lower-middle-income countries: issues, opportunities and challenges.

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PATH, PO Box 900922, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.


Low- and lower-middle-income countries are faced with a large and increasingly complicated portfolio of vaccines to introduce into their national immunization programmes. Countries must also incorporate their vaccine introduction plans into donor-required assessments and multi-year plans. An international workshop and series of key informant interviews were conducted to explore the interest, opportunities and challenges for the proactive planning of multiple vaccine introduction within a single planning cycle and the underlying processes for planning the introduction of new vaccines. The study found limited experience with this proactive planning process in low-income countries and used the experience of two lower-middle-income countries in simultaneously introducing rotavirus and pneumococcal vaccines to highlight the importance of integrating the planning processes for new vaccine introduction into broader immunization systems planning and financing. The study's findings suggest that this strategy for vaccine introduction may have promise for accelerating the pace of new vaccine introduction. However, we also show that realizing these benefits will require improved logistic and financial planning activities and continued actions to resolve uncertainties in the relationships between donors, technical agencies, and the national immunization programmes.

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