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Financing Immunization

Forecasting vaccine demand

The challenge: planning for a steady supply

In order to ensure a regular supply of vaccines, it is essential to be able to forecast demand several years ahead of need. Vaccine production cannot be scaled up overnight; lead times can be as long as three to five years depending on the product. However, previous efforts to forecast demand for the traditional "basic" vaccines (such as DTP) have been hampered by uncertain and imperfect information and the limitatations of 1-year time frames. And, in the case of newer vaccines such as hepatitis B, there are no historical data to guide the forecasters. The surge in demand that has been generated by the emergence of the Vaccine Fund has created temporary shortages in the supply of some combination vaccines.

The Task Force’s contribution

The Task Force has identified the need to determine whether, and how, it could develop a transparent and open process for forecasting demand for vaccines to be bought by the Vaccine Fund. It has also worked with UNICEF Supply Division in the development of strategic procurement mechanisms and a novel approach to engaging the vaccine industry in which manufacturers of vaccines are requested to submit proposals for supplying vaccines and related supplies over several years instead of just one or two years as previously.


Identifying long-term financing options

Promoting the development of new vaccines for low-income and middle-income countries

Forecasting vaccine demand

Capacity Building in Financial Management


Vaccine demand forecasting model. The Task Force convenes regular one-day meetings with GAVI partners, including the industry, the Bill and Melinda Gates Children’s Vaccine Programme (the Gates CVP) at PATH, WHO and UNICEF to review this model, which was developed by Alan Brooks of the Gates CVP. The model estimates vaccine demand for the 71 poorest countries eligible for Fund resources, over a 5-year time frame.

Download the current update of the model (Excel - 1.36 MB)


1) please click ‘no’ when you are asked if you wish to enable macros and

2) please click ‘no’ when it asks you to update links to other worksheets.

For more information, please contact Alan Brooks,

Background paper:

Public Sector Vaccine Procurement Approaches. Mercer Management/Piers Whitehead. GAVI Board Discussion pape. (PDF - 23KB)

Download Adobe Acrobat (Required to read PDF documents)

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