What’s really happening with global vaccine access?

A new scorecard offers insights at a glance from the country to global level.

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Nurses delivering vaccines to local vaccination points, in the Sunderbarn, India. Credit: Gavi/2022/Benedikt v.Loebell
 

 

Immunisation coverage dipped in 2021 to the lowest level in decades. Worldwide, 18.2 million children received no vaccines at all. We probably aren’t yet aware of what the full ripple effects may be from the pandemic’s cataclysm, but devastating impacts are starting to be felt in outbreaks of diseases like polio, measles, and yellow fever. And because of the failure to meet coverage targets in 2021, 240,000 avoidable deaths will occur.

A new tool has been launched to help immunisation stakeholders understand the current status of vaccine systems. The Immunization Agenda 2030 (IA2030) scorecard is a publicly available interactive tool displaying data that enables immunisation managers and advocates at all levels – global, regional, and country – to monitor the status of immunisation systems. IA2030 is a global vision and strategy, co-created by countries and development partners and endorsed by the World Health Organization, to create a world where everyone, everywhere, at every age, fully benefits from vaccines to improve health and well-being. 

Vaccine stakeholders can use the scorecard in several key ways:

  • Monitor progress toward immunisation targets. Countries, regions, and global stakeholders can visualise how each country and region contributes to meeting targets like averting 50 million deaths by 2030 and use the scorecard to guide decision-making and programme adaptations.

  • Understand the pandemic’s impact on immunisation systems. 2021 data shows that global DPT3 coverage fell to 81%, the lowest level since 2008.

  • Use visualisations to communicate about immunisation systems in high-impact presentations. Downloadable scorecard visualisations encompassing 18 different immunisation indicators at the global, regional, and country level help with communicating about vaccine investments and policy to decision-makers.

  • At the country level, compare performance between countries and against regional measures. Country pages provide at-a-glance data summarising the status of all IA2030 indicators, including which data is not yet being reported by a country.

Immunization Agenda 2030 Scorecard Dashboard shows Impact Goal-related setbacks in red.
Immunization Agenda 2030 Scorecard Dashboard shows Impact Goal-related setbacks in red. 

A health roadmap conceived in crisis

IA2030 was co-created with stakeholders and first implemented during the pandemic, the world’s worst public health crisis in 100 years. COVID-related setbacks on immunisation systems in terms of declining vaccine coverage and other measures have been significant, but the pandemic also presents opportunity.

A silver lining of the past two years can be seen in how countries demonstrated the ability to rapidly introduce a new vaccine – one given initially to adults, who can programmatically be harder to reach and track, as well as children. In 2021, 145 countries introduced COVID-19 vaccines. While global vaccine uptake is not yet equitable, in the first year of COVID-19 vaccination, an estimated 14.4 million lives have been saved.

IA2023


Currently, data from a total of 18 indicators is available on the scorecard and presented at the global, regional and country level. Hundreds of country-to-country comparisons are enabled through country dashboards, and the scorecard also highlights where data are not yet available to encourage comprehensive reporting to assess the quality and functioning of immunisation systems at all levels.

Country-level data can be compared to regions or any other country.
Country-level data can be compared to regions or any other country.

Yet insights can be limited by current data reporting cycles. More rapid reporting of such data could provide opportunities for course correction and resource infusion in real-time. We look forward to this improving over time as data entry becomes timelier.   

It is our hope that immunisation stakeholders will find the clear, easy-to-reference data on immunisation system performance at all levels valuable and that the tool will spur greater awareness of programmatic strengths and weaknesses. The scorecard is intended to encourage collaboration and rapid resource mobilisation with the aim of expanding vaccination to all, irrespective of where they live, enabling people across the world to fully benefit from vaccines for good health and well-being.


Authors

Alba Maria Ropero is Senior Lead for the Immunization Agenda 2030 at the World Health Organization

Dr Folake Olayinka is the USAID Immunization Technical Lead, STAR Fellowship at the Public Health Institute.

The scorecard is a collaborative effort led by USAID MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership, in partnership with representatives from the IA2030 Advocacy and Communication Working Group and Monitoring & Evaluation Working Group, including specialists from the CDC, WHO, UNICEF, and UN Foundation. Strategic decisions were made by the IA2030 Secretariat and IA2030 Coordination Group.