New Vaccine Introduction
In support of USAID’s efforts to help vaccinate 300 million children by 2020 and reach underserved populations, MCSP provided focused technical assistance to prepare countries for the smooth and successful introduction of new, lifesaving vaccines. Since 2014, we supported 25 vaccine introductions* and scale-ups in 10 Gavi-eligible countries. This technical assistance built on the work of MCSP’s predecessor program – the Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program – applying lessons learned from assisting in 24 introductions of new vaccines* in 13 Gavi-eligible countries.
MCSP strengthened country capacity to introduce new vaccines with equitably high coverage that had the potential to dramatically reduce the burden of disease and protect children against vaccine preventable diseases. We provided technical assistance and worked in close partnership with ministries of health to:
- Provide technical input to Gavi applications;
- Update comprehensive multi-year plans;
- Develop vaccine introduction strategies;
- Plan all program aspects of introduction;
- Build capacity and train health officials;
- Assist with launches;
- Monitor and supervise the introduction process; and
- Participate in post-introduction evaluations.
Some of these critical areas received relatively limited attention from partners. MCSP focused on addressing the detailed operational steps required for high-quality services and equitable coverage in both the immediate and long term, utilizing a comprehensive approach to the steps required for successful vaccine introduction. We used new vaccine introduction as an opportunity to systematically identify and address chronic problems underlying poor routine immunization program performance at national as well as at district levels.
The Program also played a key role in global technical leadership, influencing global and regional policies and strategies through contributions in technical advisory groups and other mechanisms. Our engagement and input were infused with practical country-level program implementation experience.
* pneumococcal conjugate, rotavirus, measles second dose, measles rubella, inactivated polio, and bivalent oral polio vaccines