Statement |

138th WHO EB - Agenda Item 9.3 - Global Vaccine Action Plan

Médecins Sans Frontières welcomes the recommendations of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on the Global Vaccine Action Plan report. The sixty-eighth World Health Assembly was a watershed year for the GVAP with the adoption of a new resolution that focuses on the urgent need to make vaccines more affordable. Over fifty member states spoke passionately in support of that resolution, with eighteen countries co-sponsoring it. Finding solutions that reduce the price of vaccines so that we can address the rising inequities between countries is critical to the GVAP’s success. We urge the Secretariat to follow through on the resolution’s request to report back on the resolution’s operative sections in next year’s GVAP report.

A key tenet of improving vaccine affordability is having a competitive market. Vaccine prices today remain high due to a lack of competition, particularly for the newest vaccines where many have only two WHO prequalified manufacturers for each. The new dengue vaccine and future Ebola vaccines may help stave off illness and epidemics but only if they can be accessed affordably.

Pneumococcal disease is the leading global childhood killer but the vaccine remains priced out of reach for many countries. We urge WHO to use its technical and regulatory expertise in support of Developing Country Vaccines Regulators (DCVR) with the aim of timely licensing and prequalification of new pneumococcal vaccine candidates.

Lastly, the SAGE report notes the particular vaccination needs of those living in crisis. MSF has vaccinated crisis-affected children in Niger, South Sudan, Syria, and other countries, but this work is challenged by poor implementation of WHO’s existing guidelines and our inability to purchase vaccines at the lowest global price. We ask that member states and the Secretariat prioritise solutions for crisis-affected children, and enable humanitarian organisations to access vaccines at the lowest global price.