To realize the full benefits of vaccination, a comprehensive matrix of coordinated resources is necessary to deliver a high quality national immunization program.
The elements of such a program can be provided in different ways depending on how a health care system is organized.
Starting point is usually good quality population-based data on disease incidence and characteristics of a vaccine-preventable disease.
Post-marketing surveillance of vaccine safety, both for rare adverse events and for quality monitoring, is necessary. Active, as well as responsive passive mechanisms are desirable.
Good quality data require expert epidemiologic analysis and interpretation to address the changing disease burden, emergency situations like new or previously unrecognized adverse events, vaccine effectiveness including herd effects or serotype replacement.
Mathematical modelling of these epidemiologic patterns is necessary to anticipate and plan for vaccine interventions.
Serosurveillance data, a good proxy for population protection, is an important input for mathematical models.
Health economics, specifically cost-effectiveness evaluation are required in many countries.
Expertise in policy analysis and synthesis of all the relevant available evidence to form the basis for government decisions about funding vaccines is necessary.
The funding mechanisms for vaccines should be based science and on clear pre-set criteria.
Promotion of Immunization Programs should come from independent sources.
A national regulator and associated policy framework should offer a timely and flexible pathway to licensure of new vaccines.