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Fifth GAVI Board Meeting, 21-22 June 2001, London, England

June 2001


Vaccine Fund supplemental assistance to support new vaccine introduction for countries with >80% DTP3 coverage


Country eligibility for support from the Vaccine Fund sub-accounts is partly defined through the use of DTP3 immunization coverage as a proxy indicator for the capacity of the national immunization programme to introduce a new vaccine. Current policy determines that countries with a DTP3 coverage above 80% at the time of approval for support from the new and under-used vaccines sub-account are not eligible for support from the immunization services sub-account.

The rationale for this is the assumption that these countries, in light of their high coverage, have the capacity and resources needed to introduce a new vaccine in a safe and effective manner (i.e., apropriate logistics and infrastructure, the means to train health workers, build public awareness and secure demand for the new vaccine, and update reporting tools and materials). It is also assumed that assistance through the provision of vaccine from the Vaccine Fund will catalyze local commitment and mobilize resources from government and ICC partners.

During the initial period of GAVI country operations, several countries are reporting resource problems in conjunction with the introduction of new vaccines. The two main reasons for this are that (1) there is a greater than anticipated need to upgrade the immunization delivery infrastructure, such as replacing an ageing cold chain or training new health staff; (2) it is difficult to make additional funding available at local level in a timely manner, since the process of GAVI approval and vaccine allocation occurs more rapidly than the mobilization of additional funds from government and donors.

It is therefore proposed that the Vaccine Fund allocate additional resources to this group of countries to ensure safe and effective introduction of new vaccines, in accordance with the following principles:

  1. The Vaccine Fund will allocate a fixed amount of US$ 100,000 to all countries with DTP3 immunization coverage above 80% upon approval for support from the new and under-used vaccines sub-account.

  2. The aim of this additional support from the Vaccine Fund is to bridge the resource gap at the time of vaccine introduction and allow critical activities in the national vaccine introduction plan to be conducted in a timely manner. The government and ICC partners are expected to make additional resources available to ensure safe and effective introduction of vaccines nationwide.

  3. Disbursements will be taken at the global level from the immunization services sub-account and will administratively be handled in a similar manner as for other disbursements from this sub-account. The MOH and ICC partners will be responsible for overseeing the use of these funds for vaccine introduction activities.

  4. Countries approved for support in earlier rounds will be notified and additional support allocated on a retroactive basis.

  5. At present, 20 Fund-eligible countries have a DTP3 coverage above 80%. Assuming that all of these countries will be approved to introduce one new vaccine, the proposed additional support could cost in the vicinity of US$ 2 million.

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