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Frequently Asked Questions

About the Decade of Vaccines (DoV)

1. What is the “Decade of Vaccines”? The collective recognition of the need for a more widespread commitment to immunization led the global health community to call for a Decade of Vaccines (DoV) in 2010.

The DoV vision is a world in which all individuals and communities enjoy lives free from the threat of vaccine-preventable diseases. Its mission is to extend, by 2020 and beyond, the full benefits of immunization to all people, regardless of where they are born, who they are, or where they live.

2. Is the DoV an organization? No. However, over the last year the Decade of Vaccine Collaboration (DoV Collaboration) has made an unprecedented global push to pool the collective expertise of vaccine, health and development experts from around the world to develop a plan to make this vision a reality. One of the principal responsibilities of the DoV Collaboration was to coordinate the development of a Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP). The DoV Collaboration is guided by a Leadership Council represented by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the GAVI Alliance and the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

3. Why is the Decade of Vaccines Collaboration dissolving? The DoV Collaboration is undergoing a transition from a secretariat-based program that was created to support development of the GVAP to the implementation of the GVAP where each organization working in immunization supports global vaccination programs. The DoV work is continuing, carried out by the stakeholders that developed the GVAP.  The original plan was for the DoV Collaboration, including the secretariat, to dissolve or “sunset” at the end of 2012 so as not to create additional structures. This is being adhered to as originally planned. The work is now being mainstreamed to the primary agencies involved, and the DoV work will continue through 2020.

4. What will happen to the Decade of Vaccines vision? The countries, the regions and the stakeholders engaged in the development of the GVAP will continue to carry out the vision of the GVAP at the country, regional and global levels.

About the Global Vaccine Action Plan

5. What is the Global Vaccine Action Plan? In May 2011, the Sixty-fourth World Health Assembly (WHA) endorsed the DoV vision and called for the development of a Global Vaccine Action Plan. The GVAP is a roadmap developed by multiple stakeholders involved in immunization—including governments and elected officials, health professionals, academia, manufacturers, global agencies, development partners, civil society, media and the private sector—to define collectively what the immunization community wants to achieve over the next decade.

6. How is the GVAP different from past plans? The GVAP builds on the success of the Global Immunization Vision and Strategy (GIVS), which was launched in 2005 as the first-ever ten-year strategic framework to realize the potential of immunization.

The GVAP emphasizes both the importance of strengthening current immunization efforts, as well as the need to introduce new elements, such as: 1) a monitoring and evaluation framework with defined indicators and stakeholder responsibilities; 2) innovation as a guiding principle; 3) expanding from “Reaching Every District” to “Reaching Every Community”; 4) creating supply-side interventions to ensure sustainable access and; 5) involving broader stakeholder participation.

7. Is this another top-down, ‘rich-country’-led initiative?

The GVAP is an innovative initiative with a country-led focus, and with unprecedented stakeholder involvement. A cornerstone of the GVAP approach to country-led ownership is ensuring that families and communities are at the center of immunization efforts and are empowered to advocate for their right to healthcare, including vaccines. In addition, a diverse group of hundreds of stakeholders worldwide developed the priorities and approaches, and for the first time ever, stakeholders at the local level were heavily involved.

8. How will success be measured? The GVAP includes indicators for achieving both the high level goals and the strategic objectives set forth for the decade. The GVAP Monitoring & Evaluation/Accountability (M&E/A) Framework will monitor the GVAP implementation, evaluate progress towards the achieving the DoV’s vision. The M&E/A Framework includes indicators to monitor the GVAP’s goals and strategic objectives, the monitoring of commitments and resources and a linkage to the UN Secretary General Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health for overall accountability.

9. What can be achieved during the Decade of Vaccines? Approximately 24-26 million potential future deaths can be averted in this decade by reaching target immunization coverage in 81 countries.

In addition, through the implementation of the GVAP we will:

  • Achieve a world free of polio.
  • Meet global and regional disease elimination targets (such as targets for neo-natal tetanus, measles and rubella).
  • Meet vaccination coverage rate targets in every region, country and community (90 percent national and 80 percent in district or its equivalent).
  • Develop and introduce new and improved vaccines and technologies.
  • Meet or exceed the Millennium Development Goal for a two-thirds reduction in global child mortality by 2015.

10. How is Research & Development (R&D) included in the GVAP? The GVAP challenges the R&D community to produce new vaccines against malaria, HIV/AIDS, TB, and a universal influenza vaccine, as well as other vaccines that will address currently non-vaccine preventable diseases. The GVAP also challenges the community to produce platform technologies such as thermostable vaccines and a research-based global regulatory agenda. Further focus is placed on operational and implementation research, new manufacturing technologies and basic research.  Progress on R&D will be reported every two years. A set of “companion documents” will be published as a supplement of the journal Vaccine. This will include a variety of case studies and other pieces that elaborate further on the information contained in the GVAP and the concepts it highlights.