Immunization Unit

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Immunization Unit

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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Hayes K.A.,Rti International | Entzel P.,National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention | Caskey R.N.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Shlay J.C.,Denver Health and Hospital Authority | And 3 more authors.
Journal of School Health | Year: 2013

Background: There has been little evaluation of school-located vaccination programs that offer human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in US schools without health centers (ie, extramural programs). This article summarizes lessons learned from such programs. Methods: In July to August 2010, 5 programs were identified. Semistructured, in-depth telephone interviews were conducted with program representatives about practical aspects of planning and implementation, including configuration and effectiveness. Results: Most programs offered HPV vaccine as part of a broader effort to increase uptake of adolescent vaccines. Respondents stressed the importance of building partnerships with local school systems throughout all aspects of the planning and implementation phases. All programs offered HPV vaccine at no cost to students. Most did not have a mechanism to bill private insurance, and some found Medicaid reimbursements to be a challenge. Programs achieved modest rates of initiation of the 3-dose HPV vaccine series (median 10%); however, among those who initiated the series, completion rates were high (median 78%). HPV vaccine uptake was lowest for a program that offered only HPV vaccine. Conclusions: Extramural programs may increase uptake of vaccines and decrease absenteeism due to noncompliance with vaccine requirements for school entry. Until extramural programs in the US receive better access to billing private insurers and Medicaid, sustainability of these programs relies on grant funding. Better integration of extramural school-located vaccine programs with existing local healthcare and other programs at schools is an area for growth. © 2013, American School Health Association.


PubMed | Makkah Regional Health Affairs, Public Health Directorate, The Global Center for Mass Gatherings Medicine, King Saud University and 2 more.
Type: | Journal: International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases | Year: 2016

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has a long history of instituting preventative measures against meningococcal disease (MD). KSA is at risk of outbreaks of MD due to its geographic location, demography, and especially because it hosts the annual Hajj and Umrah mass gatherings. Preventative measures for Hajj and Umrah include vaccination, targeted chemoprophylaxis, health awareness and educational campaigns, as well as an active disease surveillance and response system. Preventative measures have been introduced and updated in accordance with changes in the epidemiology of MD and available preventative tools. The mandatory meningococcal vaccination policy for pilgrims has possibly been the major factor in preventing outbreaks during the pilgrimages. The policy of chemoprophylaxis for all pilgrims arriving from the African meningitis belt has also probably been important in reducing the carriage and transmission of Neisseria meningitidis in KSA and beyond. The preventative measures for Hajj and Umrah are likely to continue to focus on vaccination, but to favour the conjugate vaccine for its extra benefits over the polysaccharide vaccines. Additionally, the surveillance system will continue to be strengthened to ensure early detection and response to cases and outbreaks; ongoing disease awareness campaigns for pilgrims will continue, as will chemoprophylaxis for target groups. Local and worldwide surveillance of the disease and drug-resistant N. meningitidis are crucial in informing future recommendations for vaccination, chemoprophylaxis, and treatment. Preventative measures should be reviewed regularly and updated accordingly, and compliance with these measures should be monitored and enhanced to prevent MD during Hajj and Umrah, as well as local and international outbreaks.


Lambach P.,World Health Organization | Alvarez A.M.R.,Immunization Unit | Hirve S.,World Health Organization | Ortiz J.R.,World Health Organization | And 5 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2015

There is potential for influenza vaccine programmes to make a substantial impact on severe disease in low-resource settings, however questions around vaccine composition and programmatic issues will require special attention. Some countries may benefit from immunization programmes that provide year-round supply of vaccine; however the best way to ensure adequate vaccine supply has yet to be determined. In this report, we discuss vaccine composition, availability, and programmatic issues that must be considered when developing year-round influenza immunization programmes. We then explore how these considerations have influenced immunization practices in the Latin American region as a case study. We identify three different approaches to achieve year-round supply: (1) alternating between Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere formulations, (2) extending the expiration date to permit extended use of a single hemisphere formulation, and (3) local vaccine manufacture with production timelines that align with local epidemiology. Each approach has its challenges and opportunities. The growing data suggesting high influenza disease burden in low resource countries underscores the compelling public health need to determine the best strategies for vaccine delivery. © 2015 The Authors.


PubMed | Wageningen University, Immunization Unit, World Health Organization and Paul Ehrlich Institute
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Vaccine | Year: 2015

There is potential for influenza vaccine programmes to make a substantial impact on severe disease in low-resource settings, however questions around vaccine composition and programmatic issues will require special attention. Some countries may benefit from immunization programmes that provide year-round supply of vaccine; however the best way to ensure adequate vaccine supply has yet to be determined. In this report, we discuss vaccine composition, availability, and programmatic issues that must be considered when developing year-round influenza immunization programmes. We then explore how these considerations have influenced immunization practices in the Latin American region as a case study. We identify three different approaches to achieve year-round supply: (1) alternating between Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere formulations, (2) extending the expiration date to permit extended use of a single hemisphere formulation, and (3) local vaccine manufacture with production timelines that align with local epidemiology. Each approach has its challenges and opportunities. The growing data suggesting high influenza disease burden in low resource countries underscores the compelling public health need to determine the best strategies for vaccine delivery.


Tate J.E.,National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases | Patel M.M.,National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases | Steele A.D.,Rotavirus Vaccine Program | Gentsch J.R.,National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases | And 9 more authors.
Expert Review of Vaccines | Year: 2010

The WHO has recently recommended the inclusion of rotavirus vaccine in the national immunization programs of all countries. In countries in the Americas, Europe and Australia that have adopted routine childhood immunization against rotavirus, significant reductions in the burden of severe childhood diarrhea have been observed. Besides protecting vaccinated children, disease rates also appear to be reduced in unvaccinated children, suggesting indirect benefits from vaccination (i.e., herd protection). Early clinical trial data from Africa and Asia are promising, and further efforts are needed to optimize the benefits of vaccination in developing countries where vaccines are likely to have their greatest impact. © 2010 Expert Reviews Ltd.


Valdes W.,PAHO ProVac Consultant | Janusz C.B.,Immunization Unit | Resch S.,Harvard University
Vaccine | Year: 2015

Introduction: In Honduras, until 2008, vaccine and injection supplies were financed with domestic resources. With the introduction of rotavirus vaccine in 2009 and pneumococcal conjugate in 2011, the country's Expanded Program on Immunization required an influx of resources to support not only vaccine procurement but also investments in cold chain infrastructure and programmatic strategies. This paper examines the origin, allocation, and use of resources for immunization in 2011 in Honduras, with the aim of identifying gaps in financing. Methods: An adaptation of the System of Health Accounts (2011) codes was used to specifically track resources for immunization services in Honduras for 2011. All financial flows were entered into an Excel database, and each transfer of resources was coded with a financing source and a financing agent. These coded financing sources were then distributed by provider, health care function (activity), health care provision (line item or resource input), and beneficiary (geographic, population, and antigen). All costs were calculated in 2011 United States dollars. Results: In 2011, financing for routine immunization in Honduras amounted to US$ 49.1 million, which is equal to 3.3% of the total health spending of US$ 1.49 billion and 0.29% of the GDP. Of the total financing, 64% originate from domestic sources. The other 36% is external financing, most importantly Gavi support for introducing new vaccines. This analysis identified potential financing gaps for many immunization-related activities besides procuring vaccines, such as expanding the cold chain, training, social mobilization, information systems, and research. Conclusions: The funding for Honduras' immunization program is a small share of total public spending on health. However, new vaccines recently added to the schedule with financial support from Gavi have increased the financing requirements by more than 30% in comparison to 2008. The Honduran government and its partners are developing sustainability plans to cover a financing gap that will occur when the country graduates from Gavi support in 2016. Access to lower vaccine prices will make the existing and future program, including the planned introduction of HPV vaccine to adolescent girls, more affordable. © 2015.


PubMed | PAHO ProVac Consultant, Immunization Unit and Harvard University
Type: | Journal: Vaccine | Year: 2015

In Honduras, until 2008, vaccine and injection supplies were financed with domestic resources. With the introduction of rotavirus vaccine in 2009 and pneumococcal conjugate in 2011, the countrys Expanded Program on Immunization required an influx of resources to support not only vaccine procurement but also investments in cold chain infrastructure and programmatic strategies. This paper examines the origin, allocation, and use of resources for immunization in 2011 in Honduras, with the aim of identifying gaps in financing.An adaptation of the System of Health Accounts (2011) codes was used to specifically track resources for immunization services in Honduras for 2011. All financial flows were entered into an Excel database, and each transfer of resources was coded with a financing source and a financing agent. These coded financing sources were then distributed by provider, health care function (activity), health care provision (line item or resource input), and beneficiary (geographic, population, and antigen). All costs were calculated in 2011 United States dollars.In 2011, financing for routine immunization in Honduras amounted to US$ 49.1 million, which is equal to 3.3% of the total health spending of US$ 1.49 billion and 0.29% of the GDP. Of the total financing, 64% originate from domestic sources. The other 36% is external financing, most importantly Gavi support for introducing new vaccines. This analysis identified potential financing gaps for many immunization-related activities besides procuring vaccines, such as expanding the cold chain, training, social mobilization, information systems, and research.The funding for Honduras immunization program is a small share of total public spending on health. However, new vaccines recently added to the schedule with financial support from Gavi have increased the financing requirements by more than 30% in comparison to 2008. The Honduran government and its partners are developing sustainability plans to cover a financing gap that will occur when the country graduates from Gavi support in 2016. Access to lower vaccine prices will make the existing and future program, including the planned introduction of HPV vaccine to adolescent girls, more affordable.


Andrus J.K.,World Health Organization | Jauregui B.,PAHO | de Oliveira L.H.,PAHO | Matus C.R.,Immunization Unit
Health Affairs | Year: 2011

There are many challenges to ensuring that people in developing countries have equitable access to new vaccines. Two of the most important are having the capacity to make evidence-based new vaccine policy decisions in developing countries, and then when appropriate actually distributing those new vaccines to those who will most benefit from them. Based on our review of the Pan American Health Organization's ProVac Initiative in the Americas, we found that when national governments in developing countries develop the expertise to make the best technical decisions about immunization programs; take responsibility for helping to pay for and distribute vaccines; and are supported by strong partnerships with international organizations, they succeed in saving more lives more quickly. © 2011 Project HOPE-The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.


Takla A.,Immunization Unit
Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics | Year: 2014

Mumps outbreaks in populations with high 2-dose vaccination coverage and among young adults are increasingly reported. However, data on the duration of vaccine-induced protection conferred by mumps vaccines are scarce. As part of a supra-regional outbreak in Germany 2010/11, we conducted two retrospective cohort studies in a primary school and among adult ice hockey teams to determine mumps vaccine effectiveness (VE). Via questionnaires we collected information on demography, clinical manifestations, and reviewed vaccination cards. We estimated VE as 1-RR, RR being the rate ratio of disease among two-times or one-time mumps-vaccinated compared with unvaccinated persons. The response rate was 92.6% (100/108--children cohort) and 91.7% (44/48--adult cohort). Fourteen cases were identified in the children and 6 in the adult cohort. In the children cohort (mean age: 9 y), 2-dose VE was 91.9% (95% CI 81.0-96.5%). In the adult cohort (mean age: 26 y), no cases occurred among the 13 2-times vaccinated, while 1-dose VE was 50.0% (95% CI -9.4-87.1%). Average time since last vaccination showed no significant difference for cases and non-cases, but cases were younger at age of last mumps vaccination (children cohort: 2 vs. 3 y, P=0.04; adult cohort: 1 vs. 4 y, P=0.03). We did not observe signs of waning immunity in the children cohort. Due to the small sample size VE in the adult cohort should be interpreted with caution. Given the estimated VE, very high 2-dose vaccination coverage is required to prevent future outbreaks. Intervention efforts to increase coverage must especially target young adults who received<2 vaccinations during childhood.


PubMed | Immunization Unit and World Health Organization
Type: Review | Journal: Vaccine | Year: 2016

The WHO recommends annual influenza vaccination to prevent influenza illness in high-risk groups. Little is known about national influenza immunization policies globally.The 2014 WHO/UNICEF Joint Reporting Form (JRF) on Immunization was adapted to capture data on influenza immunization policies. We combined this dataset with additional JRF information on new vaccine introductions and strength of immunization programmes, as well as publicly available data on country economic status. Data from countries that did not complete the JRF were sought through additional sources. We described data on country influenza immunization policies and used bivariate analyses to identify factors associated with having such policies.Of 194 WHO Member States, 115 (59%) reported having a national influenza immunization policy in 2014. Among countries with a national policy, programmes target specific WHO-defined risk groups, including pregnant women (42%), young children (28%), adults with chronic illnesses (46%), the elderly (45%), and health care workers (47%). The Americas, Europe, and Western Pacific were the WHO regions that had the highest percentages of countries reporting that they had national influenza immunization policies. Compared to countries without policies, countries with policies were significantly more likely to have the following characteristics: to be high or upper middle income (p<0.0001); to have introduced birth dose hepatitis B virus vaccine (p<0.0001), pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (p=0.032), or human papilloma virus vaccine (p=0.002); to have achieved global goals for diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine coverage (p<0.0001); and to have a functioning National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (p<0.0001).The 2014 revision of the JRF permitted a global assessment of national influenza immunization policies. The 59% of countries reporting that they had policies are wealthier, use more new or under-utilized vaccines, and have stronger immunization systems. Addressing disparities in public health resources and strengthening immunization systems may facilitate influenza vaccine introduction and use.

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