Statement |

MSF statement at 71st WHA: Global vaccine action plan

Speaker: Baher Mohamed

71st World Health Assembly - Agenda item 20.1: Global vaccine action plan

MSF is gravely concerned about the slow progress towards achieving GVAP targets, with only a 1% increase in global vaccination coverage since 2010. We highlight the following concerns that warrant immediate action:

  1. In 2015, Member States adopted resolution WHA68.6, which highlighted the barriers faced in introduction of new vaccines due to unaffordable prices. We are dismayed to note that the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) report does not explicitly refer to this resolution, nor does it provide an assessment of progress toward the actions requested by Member States. We call for full implementation and monitoring of WHA68.6, which would play a major role in lowering vaccine prices and improving coverage.

  2. Middle-income countries (MICs) continue to face challenges accessing new and more expensive vaccines. The SAGE report notes that the proportion of introductions of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) in Gavi-ineligible MICs has been 30% less than PCV introductions in Gavi-eligible countries. We urge WHO and Member States to intensify efforts to support all MICs in securing lower-priced vaccines.

  3. The Humanitarian Mechanism was launched in 2017 to improve access to vaccinations for people caught in emergencies. To date, it has only provided access to PCV and only to NGOs and UN agencies, excluding governments. We urge pharmaceutical companies to participate in the Mechanism by making their vaccines available for people in crisis at the lowest global price, and to all who are working to protect people in emergencies: governments, UN agencies and NGOs. Additionally, we urge WHO to develop improved strategies for vaccinating people in crisis, and to better promote existing WHO guidelines on vaccinating in emergencies.

  4. Positively, there has been a significant increase in vaccine price information available through WHO’s Vaccine Product Price and Procurement initiative. We encourage all Member States to share vaccine data with the initiative to increase price transparency for use in governments’ procurement negotiations.

A full list of briefing documents and interventions for the 71st WHA can be found here.