Health Policy Watch: The World Health Organization [WHO] and global partners wrapped up a meeting today to develop a vision and strategy prototype for the post-2020 decade of action on vaccines and immunizations. This new plan of action for 2021-2030 will take a different approach that is more “bottom up” and collaborative in engaging countries and other stakeholders to tackle emerging immunization challenges, including recent measles and diphtheria outbreaks and growing “vaccine hesitancy” across WHO regions.
The 3-day meeting, entitled “Co-creating the Future of Vaccines and Immunization,” took place in Geneva this week from 19-21 March, and marked a key milestone in the development of a unified vision and plan for 2021-2030 that will guide WHO’s work on vaccines and immunization.
The stakeholders at the meeting included “representatives from academia, global immunization and broader health partnerships, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), donor agencies, Ministries of Health, industry, private sector, research institutes, and multilateral organizations,” according to the [news] release [by WHO].
The Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP), which guided the previous decade from 2011-2020, dubbed the “Decade of Vaccines,” will soon come to an end, presenting both progress but also new challenges.
While the “Decade of Vaccines has achieved significant progress for immunization,” a background document on the meeting notes that “most GVAP goals will not be met by 2020, with existing/emerging realities further inhibiting progress.” The new plan, it says, “is needed to set a compelling, country-centric vision and direction for the coming decade.”
According to the annual assessment of the Strategy Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization, 2017 had the highest number of child immunizations reported for a given year – 116.2 million – but also large measles and diphtheria outbreaks that caused many deaths in multiple WHO regions due to low national coverage, or pockets of low coverage.
Added to these challenges in immunization coverage is the growth of “vaccine hesitancy” across regions but particularly in North America and Europe, which the background document attributes in part to the role of social media in spreading misinformation.
It explains that the “new approach” being taken to collaboratively develop the post-2020 vision and strategy draws from existing country strategies as sources that will shape the unified vision and strategy for 2030. It further describes the process of engaging stakeholders as “deep and broad,” and as applying a “holistic, representative and collaborative working structure.”
“People must be at the [center] of healthcare and their free and equal rights to essential healthcare services such as vaccinations must be observed throughout their life-course, without discrimination,” Kate Gilmore, deputy high commissioner for human rights at the United Nations, said at the meeting.
“There is no such thing as a right to refuse vaccines when the consequences of doing so is to be borne by others and undermine the rights of others to health, as recognized in the International Human Rights Framework,” she said.
The new plan of action for 2021-2030 “aims to provide a unified vision and approach for vaccines and immunization, with clear strategies and tactics that sets a new compelling country-centric vision and provides direction for the global immunization community in the coming decade,” the release states.
The purpose of developing a unified plan is “so that all countries, regions and partners can define their own strategies and operational plans in a coordinated way,” the background document explains.
After developing the strategy and vision, the other components in the development of this plan, which include local, regional and global implementation plans, revised M&E [monitoring and evaluation] guidelines, and an advocacy plan and call to action, will be developed.
Once finalized, these will be submitted to the 73rd World Health Assembly in May 2020 to be discussed and endorsed by ministers of health of all WHO [member-states].
Forced immunizations are coming. The WHO believes “vaccine hesitancy” has arisen because of “misinformation.” Its “local, regional and global implementation plans” would certainly include laws requiring immunization of all citizens. While some immunizations have prevented serious diseases in the past, many people object to newer vaccinations due to concerns that they are harmful and may cause damage in some people. Soon, however, these objections may no longer be valid for avoiding vaccinations.
Newly-created UN rights have undermined traditional rights of freedom. Aggression against freedom and liberty comes from many sources, but it all leads to the loss of religious freedom – in this case, religious and moral objections to vaccinations.
“As religious aggression subverts the liberties of our nation, those who would stand for freedom of conscience will be placed in unfavorable positions. For their own sake, they should, while they have the opportunity, become intelligent in regard to disease, its causes, prevention, and cure.” Healthful Living, page 253.