Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals

Country decision making: introducing a new vaccine

This site provides resources useful to address policy and programmatic aspects of introducing a new vaccine into a national immunization programme.

EPI vaccines are considered to be among the most efficient uses of scarce health care resources. Today, there are many new and under-used vaccines available and many more under development. Deliberations about incorporating a new vaccine into a national immunization schedule are often influenced by multiple factors, including affordability and relative cost-effectiveness, disease burden, availability and price of vaccines, and safety and suitability of available vaccine products for national programmes.

Guidance on vaccine introduction

To assist national policy-makers with decisions on whether a vaccine should be added to a national immunization programme and guidance on how to introduce a new vaccine, WHO has developed a general vaccine introduction document which includes information on planning and budgeting, monitoring implementation, evaluating impact, calculating vaccine supplies and managing the cold chain.

Several vaccine and product-specific guidelines have been developed to facilitate introduction and WHO vaccine position papers are available for all new vaccines.

Tools to conduct post-introduction evaluations as well as to support cold chain assessments to prepare countries for the increased space that will be required by the addition of new vaccines are also available.

WHO, UNICEF and their partners recommended that national programme managers attempt to consolidate existing plans for immunization objectives into a single comprehensive multi-year plan (cMYP), including an evaluation of the costs and financing of that plan.

Last update: September 2015