Statement |

136th WHO EB - MSF intervention on Global Vaccine Action Plan

136th WHO Executive Board
Agenda item 9.3
Global Vaccine Action Plan

Speaker: Nathalie Ernoult, Head of Advocacy, Regional and Francophone

Médecins Sans Frontières welcomes the recommendations of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on the Global Vaccine Action Plan report. During the sixty-seventh World Health Assembly, over thirty Member States expressed concern over the high price of new vaccines, calling for WHO to develop strategies to increase affordability.

In a new report, The Right Shot, released last week, MSF outlines that the overall price of vaccines are rising astronomically. The lowest publicly-available prices show that the price of fully vaccinating a child has increased by 6,700% over the past thirteen years. New vaccines are by far the costliest: the three newest vaccines – those against pneumonia, diarrhoea and human papillomavirus – now account for 86% of the total price of the full WHO-recommended vaccines package.

The lowest prices are not available to most countries, and those countries that are losing donor support through Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, will face significant affordability challenges and potentially tough decisions on which vaccines to exclude from national programmes.

The vaccine price crisis threatens the success of the Decade of Vaccines, which has been noted by WHO’s vaccine policy body as being off track.  To reset the course, the WHO policy group recommended that countries create transparency on vaccine prices, which is in their own interest, by making the prices paid publicly available. Additionally, an improvement in the use of vaccines in emergencies and for crisis-affected people is needed; while vaccination is disrupted by situations of war and major disease outbreaks, such situations will always exist and children must be vaccinated despite them.

MSF urges WHO and the Decade of Vaccines Secretariat to continue to monitor vaccine prices.

MSF specifically calls on Member States to:

  • Make your vaccine price information available to WHO and technical partners to help increase price transparency; and

  • voice the need to prioritise vaccination in humanitarian emergencies, through increasing affordability of new vaccines and access to the lowest global price for humanitarian organisations.

If Member States increase price transparency, it will lead to greater vaccine affordability for all.

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