The issues related to introduction of a new vaccine in national immunization program of a developing country
With significant reduction in incidence of diseases covered under Expanded Program of Immunization (EPI), other infections have gained public health importance globally or at least in some regions. Recent advances in vaccinology have led to development of new vaccines targeting these diseases. However, the decision to include a new vaccine in national immunization schedule is not straight-forward as there are numerous issues in prioritizing investments of a national immunization programme. These include policy issues (whether introduction of the new vaccine is in sync with immunization policy of the country) as well as technical or programmatic (whether implementation of the decision is technically feasible). First, careful assessment is made of the disease burden in the particular country, and possibility of other preventive measures is explored. Second, the efficacy quality, safety and costs involved with the particular vaccine are studied. Third, the technical issues (vaccine presentation, logistics, vaccine availability and sustainability, etc) are considered. All these issues need to be tackled systematically, providing best possible immunization schedule as per the needs and resources of the country.
Expanded Program of Immunization, new vaccines, national immunization programme