The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today unveiled a new National Vaccine Plan to enhance coordination of all aspects of federal vaccine and immunization activities. Its goal is to ensure that all Americans can access the preventive benefits of vaccines.
The plan is a wide-ranging guide to innovating the nation’s vaccine system. It addresses such issues as research and development, supply, financing, distribution, safety, global cooperation, and informed decision-making among consumers and health care providers.
This is the first update of the National Vaccine Plan since the original version in 1994.
“Vaccines are a critical cornerstone of the public health system,” said Assistant Secretary for Health Howard K. Koh, M.D., M.P.H. “The National Vaccine Plan articulates a vision that will ensure that the nation’s prevention strategies protect the public for the next decade and beyond.”
Despite the success of vaccines in reducing death and disability over the last century, many Americans still suffer from infectious diseases that can be prevented by vaccines. The plan offers innovative approaches to improve delivery of existing vaccines and to spur development of new products to prevent infectious disease.
The National Vaccine Plan is the product of an extensive stakeholder feedback process. It integrates input from public health and medical experts, a wide range of federal, state and local government officials, and perhaps most importantly, the public.
“This plan is a 10-year vision for the nation to more effectively prevent infectious diseases and reduce adverse reactions to vaccines,” said Director of the National Vaccine Program Office and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Bruce Gellin, M.D., M.P.H. “The plan is national in scope. Implementation will require a well-organized effort among stakeholders, including federal, state and local policymakers, health care providers, manufacturers, academia, philanthropic organizations, and the public.”
Next steps include a series of regional meetings with stakeholders in the spring and summer of 2011, which will focus on how to implement the strategies laid out in the National Vaccine Plan. The final implementation plan will be completed by the end of 2011.
For more about the new National Vaccine Plan, go to http://www.hhs.gov/nvpo/vacc_plan/.