Vaccine supply and procurement

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Gavi's strategy for 2011-2015 includes an explicit goal to shape vaccine markets

The value of pooling demand and purchasing

The majority of procurement on behalf of the Vaccine Alliance is conducted by UNICEF, while Gavi-eligible countries in the Americas are sourcing their vaccines through the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Revolving Fund.

Gavi’s role in the global vaccine market is evidenced by the initial impact the Vaccine Alliance has had in changing the production and supply base, accelerating price declines in some vaccines and supporting the application of tiered pricing that enables poor countries to pay significantly less than higher income countries for the same vaccine.

The hepatitis B, tetravalent and pentavalent vaccines illustrate how these dynamics play out, with pneumococcal vaccines as an example of how innovative financing mechanisms can influence the market. However, Gavi’s ability to shape particular vaccine markets though the magnitude of its procurement though UNICEF depends on various factors, including the number and capacity of manufacturers, the vaccine complexity and Gavi’s relative market power in terms of volume and revenue.

Supply and procurement strategy

To facilitate and accelerate the achievement of Gavi’s market-shaping goal, the Gavi Board approved in November 2011 the Vaccine Supply and Procurement Strategy for the period 2011-2015. The strategy aims to ensure sufficient and uninterrupted supply of high-quality vaccines, promote low and sustainable costs for developing countries, and foster an environment for innovation.

Recognising the differences across vaccines in terms of market maturity and competition, manufacturing complexity and the Vaccine Alliance’s relative market power, Gavi is applying a tailored approach for each vaccine it funds – see human papillomavirus vaccine roadmap.

Drawing on key partners and particularly UNICEF Supply Division which manages most of the vaccine procurement, Gavi will aim to achieve its fourth strategic goal objectives through:

  • continued strengthening and dissemination of forecasting to ensure timely, transparent and accurate market information; and
  • innovative approaches to making demand more predictable, accelerating vaccine development, increasing levels of production, and improving vaccine portfolio management to ensure efficient and effective vaccine procurement and supply-chain management.

Information transparency

Gavi recognises the importance of timely, transparent and accurate information sharing on expected vaccine demand and supply dynamics. It therefore welcomes vaccine suppliers’ agreement to make pricing information more transparent. UNICEF publishes the vaccine prices paid to individual manufacturers.

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Long-term strategic demand forecasts offer visibility into future market needs to Gavi stakeholders including donors and industry partners 

For more than 4 years, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance has been using strategic demand forecasts (SDFs) to improve its understanding of vaccine markets. In the context of Gavi’s supply and procurement strategy, the SDF is an important tool to ensure clarity and understanding of the Gavi market for important stakeholders, including manufacturers, donors, and countries.

The SDF has three primary uses:

  1. predict the Vaccine Alliance’s long-term vaccine volume required for the Gavi market;
  2. input into Gavi’s impact projections which include numbers of people vaccinated and health outcomes such as deaths averted;
  3. serve as the basis for calculating financial requirements for the Gavi-supported vaccine programmes.


The SDF is generated by the Gavi Secretariat Demand Forecasting Team twice a year and includes all 73 countries that were eligible for Gavi support as of 2011 and a time horizon of 3 to 20 years.

Gavi benefits from the expertise of a SDF Advisory Team composed of Vaccine Alliance partners and other experts. This group serves as an advisory body responsible for providing advice to the Gavi Secretariat on the SDF. This includes providing advice on the global methodology including selection of data sources and assumptions used to forecast vaccine demand.

Other consultation takes place with vaccine experts in the public and private sectors to ensure the SDFs reflect a range of views into the evolution of vaccine markets. Presently, Gavi is producing SDFs for 10 vaccines, including:

  • human papillomavirus
  • inactivated polio
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • measles-containing
  • meningococcal A
  • pentavalent
  • pneumococcal conjugate
  • rotavirus
  • typhoid conjugate
  • yellow fever

The 2014 SDF v9 is current as of the second quarter of 2014.

The detailed product profiles (DPPs) have been developed to help countries decide which vaccine presentation is the best ‘fit’ for inclusion in their immunisation programmes.

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Increasing access to information

The DPPs provide countries with easy access to up-to-date and comprehensive information on Gavi-supported vaccines. The DPPs also provide an overview of all WHO prequalified (WHO PQ) vaccine products for the 11 vaccine groups that Gavi supports, including those vaccine presentations currently not procured by UNICEF on behalf of Gavi. The format of the DPPs was created specifically to allow countries to compare WHO PQ vaccine products, fully informing them of their options. As a support-tool, the DPPs are referenced in the application guidelines to facilitate decision making.

Informed decision making

Countries are encouraged to consider factors beyond vaccine procurement cost and country co-financing requirements: the DPPs include information on vaccine presentations, pricing, indicative wastage rates, manufacturers, cold chain volume and handling. The DPPs are updated on a fixed schedule (at least every 6 months) or with more frequency if required.


Information contained in the DPPs comes from a variety of sources including the Gavi Secretariat, WHO PQ vaccine webpages, WHO position papers and UNICEF’s product menu for vaccines supplied by UNICEF for Gavi-supported programmes.

73 countries

Gavi support is available to the 73 poorest countries in the world. By the end of 2013, 22 countries were projected to graduate from Gavi’s support by 2020.


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