Latin America and Caribbean countries have a long history of effective implementation of national immunization programs (NIPs), which has led to the successful control of infectious diseases such as smallpox, measles, and poliomyelitis, among many others. Yet challenges such as inequity, rising costs, growing population needs, and the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic have negatively impacted the operation of NIPs in the region. This has led to a significant reduction in vaccine coverage rates (VCRs), putting the population at risk of severe, preventable diseases.
Addressing these and other challenges facing NIPs requires sustained sources of funding that are capable of expansion according to national needs. So far, the region has coped with domestic public resources and the important support of international mechanisms including the Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO) Revolving Fund (RF).
Innovative financing is particularly useful in today’s context of fiscal constraints, as it helps public institutions maintain and enhance immunization programs by supplementing available resources with new sources of funding and/ or expanding the impact of existing financing structures. Considering that immunization is a multidimensional endeavor requiring efficient management of demand, supply, delivery, and many other issues, a holistic, health-system approach to immunization is essential to stimulating innovative financing and maximizing its benefits.
This issue brief built upon findings from a private, nonpartisan strategy session as part of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center’s #FutureofHealth Series, which aims to provide a practical, forward-looking approach to target key policy issues at the intersection of health and the economy in Latin America and the Caribbean.
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The Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center broadens understanding of regional transformations and delivers constructive, results-oriented solutions to inform how the public and private sectors can advance hemispheric prosperity.