Opportunities to accelerate immunization progress in middle-income countries.

Publication date: Jul 15, 2023

There has been increasing recognition of vaccine access challenges in middle-income countries and the need for increased action, particularly in countries that are not eligible for or have transitioned out of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance support. These countries’ immunization systems are more vulnerable than ever as the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates existing programme challenges, increasing the risk of delayed vaccine introductions, backsliding immunization coverage rates, and increased coverage inequity. The potential health and equity impact of improving immunization outcomes in middle-income countries is substantial. Modelling suggests that the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and vaccines for rotavirus and human papillomavirus in this set of Gavi-transitioned and non-Gavieligible middle-income countries in 2020 could have saved an estimated 70,000 lives if 90 % coverage had been reached. Further, increasing coverage for already-introduced vaccines to 90 % could have saved an additional estimated 16,000 lives. Over the past decade, stakeholders have made considerable efforts to identify immunization challenges in middle-income countries as documented in the 2015 SAGE-endorsed Shared Partner Middle-Income Country Strategy. In the coming decade, new global platforms like Gavi 5. 0 and the Immunization Agenda 2030 provide opportunities to align on MIC strategies and provide coordinated global support to middle-income countries. The international COVID-19 pandemic response has the potential to lay the foundation for long term support beyond the scope of COVID-19 to non-Gavi eligible middle-income countries. Meanwhile regional mechanisms to address immunization barriers in middle-income countries have grown in number and strength, offering sustainable platforms for cross-country collaboration and the provision of tailored technical support. To ensure that these opportunities are successfully acted upon and that middle-income countries achieve the Immunization Agenda 2030 goals, comprehensive, multi-stakeholder consultations were conducted to identify areas of action with the greatest potential to accelerate immunization progress. Stakeholders should work together to put these findings, highlighted in this paper, into action, adapting their approaches to specific country contexts and learning from and building on existing efforts.

Concepts Keywords
Decade COVAX
Pandemic Coverage
Sustainable COVID-19
Vaccines Gavi
Global policy
Middle income countries
New vaccine introduction


Type Source Name
disease VO immunization
disease VO vaccine
disease MESH COVID-19 pandemic
disease VO Equity
disease VO conjugate vaccine
disease VO Rotavirus
disease VO Human papillomavirus
disease IDO country
drug DRUGBANK Methyl isocyanate
disease VO vaccination

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