While most vaccines that are currently in use have excellent safety profiles, they all have the potential to cause serious harm through inappropriate delivery, contamination, or other issues.
Many developed countries have robust systems in place to monitor and ensure the safe use of vaccines. However, this is not the case for most low-income countries, which rely heavily on vaccine safety data from industrialized nations. This may be inappropriate for several reasons. For example, safety risks may vary in different countries depending on skill and training of vaccinators, adequate cold chain management, and the influence of underlying diseases such as malnutrition, malaria, and HIV infection. Additionally, some newer vaccines (such as monovalent serogroup A conjugate vaccines against meningitis or new malaria vaccines) may be used only in developing countries.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has thus recommended that all countries develop vaccine safety and response systems. To determine the minimum level of capacity, WHO conducted a study of existing vaccine safety systems in low- and middle-income countries as well as existing inter-country and global support mechanisms. The aim of the project (called Global Vaccine Safety Blueprint Project) was to develop a document, or blueprint, that defines indicators for effective safety monitoring and outlines financial considerations such as budget and funding mechanisms.
In support of the economic aspect of the WHO study, AMP conducted a financial assessment of national vaccine safety systems and vaccine safety initiatives worldwide. The specific objectives were to:
- Calculate the costs of 11 national vaccine safety systems and 10 to 15 existing vaccine safety initiatives
- Document funding mechanisms of 11 national vaccine safety systems and 10 to 15 existing vaccine safety initiatives
- Provide a transversal analysis of the costs and funding of the 11 national vaccine safety systems and 10 to 15 existing vaccine safety initiatives
- Identify and explore the feasibility of various financing strategies of an integrated global vaccine safety system