Global immunization: a promising future?

A report from committee B: universal coverage for vaccination

“In 2009, 109 Member States had achieved and maintained coverage with three doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine at or above 90% for the previous three years, and an additional 13 have attained this level more recently. However, more than 23 million children failed to receive the required three doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine in 2009 as a result of low coverage in a few countries.” (WHO Progress report and strategic direction for the Decade of Vaccines )

Seeing the amount of successes in new vaccines, one would think that the future will only improve. However, these new vaccines are not always available for the people that are in need. High prices, inefficient system management and conflicts of interest prohibit these new vaccines to reach the people that need this care.

The delegation of Kenya states that more than 102.000 women in Kenya die every year of cervical cancer, a type of cancer of which the incidence can be easily lowered through HPV-vaccination. They, together with other member nations, therefore appeal to the WHO to continue their advocacy activities towards pharmaceutical companies to lower the prices of vaccines.

However, member nations do not only ask for lowering the prices. Member nations ask for a global approach when it comes to public education. People should be taught what it means to be vaccinated, what the benefits are of vaccines and above all: to eliminate all misconceptions about vaccines. That is, moving on to vaccine-taboo free societies next to the governments we need to involve schools and public figures in improving immunisation.

“Access to vaccines is a human right, not a luxury. We need to live in a world where people live fearless of vaccine-preventable diseases.”

Kind regards, Hanaa

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