Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals

About us

UN Foundation/Stuart Ramson

The mission of our Department (Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals) is the attainment of a world in which all individuals and communities enjoy lives free from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Our work covers a range of activities including research and development, vaccine supply and immunization financing and immunization system strengthening. We focus on current and emerging diseases of concern to public health, especially in developing countries.

Strategic framework

Our activities are guided by the principles set out in the Global Vaccine Action Plan, a roadmap to prevent millions of deaths by 2020 through more equitable access to vaccines for people in all communities. This comprehensive Action Plan involves four mutually reinforcing goals:

  • strengthening routine immunization to meet elimination and vaccination coverage targets;
  • accelerating control of vaccine-preventable diseases;
  • introducing new and improved vaccines; and
  • spurring research and development for the next generation of vaccines and technologies.

Key output of the Department includes policy recommendations, such as the WHO position papers on vaccines. These policy recommendations are the result of careful consideration by WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE), and supporting committees, such as the Expert Committee on Biological Standardization (ECBS) and the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS).

  • More information on the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization
  • More information on the Expert Committee on Biological Standardization
  • More information on the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety

Department structure and funding

Our work is coordinated by a Director's Office and implemented by two technical teams

Sustained funding for our work is critical for the achievement of global immunization and child survival goals

The Department's Strategic Plan for 2010-2015 emphasizes technical collaboration, integration and synergies and the closing of remaining gaps.

Priority areas of work:

  • Strengthening routine programmes to reach unimmunized populations
  • Improving national capacity to introduce new vaccines
  • Building synergies for disease control and prevention
  • Formulating evidence-based policies for vaccine use

Collaborating centres

Last updated: 14 February 2013

Highlights