The Global Vaccine Action Plan – insights into its utility, application, and ways to strengthen future plans.

Abstract: The pace of global progress must increase if the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) goals are to be achieved by 2020. We administered a two-phase survey to key immunization stakeholders to assess the utility and application of GVAP, including how it has impacted country immunization programs, and to find ways to strengthen the next 10-year plan.

Results: Global immunization stakeholders (n = 38) cite global progress in improving vaccine delivery (88%) and engaging civil society organizations as advocates for vaccines (83%). Among regional and national immunization stakeholders (n = 58), 70% indicated reaching mobile and underserved populations with vaccination activities as a major challenge. The top ranked activities for helping country programs achieve progress toward GVAP goals include improved monitoring of vaccination coverage and upgrading disease surveillance systems. Most respondents (96%) indicated GVAP as useful for determining immunization priorities and 95% were supportive of a post-2020 GVAP strategy. Conclusions: Immunization stakeholders see GVAP as a useful tool, and there is cause for excitement as the global immunization community looks toward the next decade of vaccines. The next 10-year plan should attempt to increase political will, align immunization activities with other health system agendas, and address important issues like reaching mobile/migrant populations and improving data reporting systems.

 

The 2014-15 U.S. measles outbreak and parents’ vaccination beliefs, confidence, and intentions

Abstract: While it seems intuitive that highly visible vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks should impact perceptions of disease risk and facilitate vaccination, few empirical studies exist to confirm or dispel these beliefs. This study investigates the impact of the 2014-15 Disneyland measles outbreak on parents’ vaccination attitudes and future vaccination intentions. The analysis relies on a pair of public opinion surveys of American parents with at least one child under the age of six (N = 1000 across each survey). Controlling for basic demographics, we found higher levels of reported confidence in the safety and efficacy of childhood vaccinations in our follow-up data collection. However, this confidence was also accompanied by elevated levels of concern toward childhood vaccines among American parents. We then examined how different sub-groups in the population scored on these measures before and after the outbreak. We found that parents with high levels of interest in the topic of vaccines and a child who is not fully up-to-date with the recommended vaccination schedule reported more supportive attitudes toward vaccines. However, future intentions to follow the recommended vaccination schedule were not positively impacted by the outbreak. Possible explanations for these results and implications for vaccination outreach are discussed.