Cross-Regional Statement Under Agenda Item 13.8 at the 74th World Health Assembly
Delivered by Canada on behalf of the United States of America and the following Member State co-sponsors: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, European Union, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Jamaica, Japan, Qatar, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.
At last year’s Health Assembly, we endorsed the Immunization Agenda 2030 (IA2030). We thank the Secretariat for their hard work in the development of operational elements in the Framework for Action.
IA2030 is an ambitious global strategy to maximize the impact of immunization over the next decade, aiming to:
- Prevent disease
- Promote equity
- Build strong immunization programs
We as Member States, representing six regions of WHO, reaffirm our commitment to the IA2030 and the Framework for Action, and we call on all other Member States to do the same.
Moving forward we encourage all stakeholders to make IA2030 operational, including through regional and national strategies.
Expanding the benefits of routine immunization to all ages will require new delivery methods and investments in scalable and resilient vaccine logistics, infrastructure, manufacturing, and supply chains. We must recommit to fully immunizing every child on earth, and rapidly make up the ground we have lost to COVID-19. We must use measles as a tracer indicator that helps us to identify where we need to go to reach zero dose children. We must also recognize the decline in vaccine confidence and address the misinformation and disinformation spread about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.
Ensuring everyone receives the routine childhood vaccines they need will provide an exceptional return on investment and help create and strengthen critical infrastructure to keep the world safe from future pandemics. Vaccines already prevent more than 4.3 million deaths every year – but they have the potential for an even greater impact. Every dollar invested in immunization programmes in 94 low- and middle-income countries over the next decade will return more than US$ 52 by lowering treatment costs, boosting productivity, and reducing long-term disability. Since child immunization is an entry point for other health services, expanding immunization will help build sustainable and resilient primary health care systems.
There are numerous measures different stakeholders can take to maintain the hard-won gains in immunization, recover from disruptions caused by COVID-19, and increase access to vaccines for everyone:
- World leaders and the global health and development community should make explicit and sustainable commitments to IA2030, recognizing that immunization is a backbone of the primary health system and a critical component of pandemic preparedness and response;
- We as governments should develop, update, and implement national immunization plans that align with the IA2030 and the Framework for Action, involving civil society and communities, and implement robust campaigns to promote vaccine confidence and trust in science, to increase access to vaccines over the life course and leave no one behind – no matter where they live
- Donors should invest in vaccine research and innovation, development, manufacturing, and delivery, with a renewed focus on the needs of underserved, vulnerable, and marginalized populations; and
- Governments and funders should continue to work closely with the pharmaceutical industry and scientists to accelerate vaccine research and development, increase the supply of quality, safe, effective and affordable vaccines to meet global needs, and apply lessons from COVID-19 to other diseases.