The WHO’s Vaccination Triple-Billion-Target

World Health Organization 5-year strategic plan focuses on a triple billion target on coverage, protection and enjoying better health

globe with heart beat going thru it

While vaccines are one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease, vaccine hesitancy threatens to reverse progress already made in eliminating infectious diseases, such as measles. 

According to a new World Health Organization (WHO) report, vaccinations prevent 2-3 million deaths a year.   

And, a further 1.5 million lives could be saved if the global immunization coverage was enhanced. 

To expand vaccination rates beginning in 2019, the WHO published a new 5-year strategic plan – the 13th General Programme of Work

This plan focuses on a ‘triple billion target’, which is ensuring:

  • 1 billion more people benefit from access to universal health coverage,
  • 1 billion more people are protected from health emergencies, and,
  • 1 billion more people enjoy better health and well-being.

Reaching this ‘triple billion’ goal will require addressing threats to vaccination rates from a variety of angles. 

The reasons why people choose not to vaccinate are complex; a vaccines advisory group to WHO identified complacency, inconvenience in accessing vaccines, and lack of confidence are key reasons underlying hesitancy. 

Healthcare workers remain the most trusted influencer of vaccination decisions, and they must be supported to deliver trusted, credible vaccine information to people. 

During 2019, the WHO says it will ramp up efforts to help countries around the world eliminate several infectious diseases, such as dengue and influenza viruses:

Dengue:

  • Dengue, is a mosquito-borne disease that causes flu-like symptoms and can be lethal and kill up to 20 percent of those with severe dengue, has been a growing threat for decades. An estimated 40% of the world is at risk of dengue fever, and there are around 390 million infections a year. WHO’s Dengue control strategy aims to reduce deaths by 50 percent by 2020.
  • Dengvaxia is a dengue virus vaccine and is currently under priority review by the US Food and Drug Administration as it would be considered a significant medical advance in the prevention of dengue, which is considered an unmet medical need.

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Influenza:

  • The world will face another influenza pandemic – the only thing we don’t know is when it will hit and how severe it will be. The WHO is constantly monitoring the circulation of influenza viruses to detect potential pandemic strains: 153 institutions in 114 countries are involved in global surveillance and response. Every year, WHO recommends which strains should be included in the flu vaccine to protect people from seasonal flu. In the event that a new flu strain develops pandemic potential,
  • WHO has set up a unique partnership with all the major players to ensure effective and equitable access to diagnostics, vaccines, and antivirals (treatments), especially in developing countries.

International air travel poses various risks when it comes to containing the spread of infectious disease, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In order to get from one place to another by an airplane, travelers expose themselves to some people who could be sick.

And, recent research says the best way to increase vaccinations is when a trusted healthcare provider speaks with a listening patient.

Americans planning international trips can schedule a vaccination counseling session with a local pharmacy at Vax-Before-Travel.

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides the private sector vaccine prices for general information.

MMR vaccine discounts can be found here.

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.