Workshop on mapping out opportunities to improve access to affordable vaccine supply in the Member States of the South-eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN) was held in Tirana, Republic of Albania from 27 February to 01 March 2019, organized by WHO RO for Europe, Vaccine-preventable Diseases and Immunization Programme, Division of Health Emergencies and Communicable Diseases.
This Workshop served as a wide platform for experts involved in national immunization programmes of SEEHN member states, as well as for experts in procurement, market access and market intelligence from WHO, UNICEF and CHAI. They presented, shared experiences and discussed the changing vaccine market, vaccine supply shortages and unaffordable vaccine pricing as well as the complex issues countires are facing with. Participants, also had the unique possibility through meaningful discussions and participatory approach to better understand and utilize the available the vaccine market information and to identify options for improving in-country and cross-border cooperation by defining strategic approaches for securing access to affordable vaccines.
The Workshop was well-received and highly praised by all participants who committed themselves to continue the discussion within their countries, to fill-in the distributed questionnaire as well as to complete the action plan for the steps forward to be taken at national and regional level.
Correspondingly, participants agreed to inform on additional more focused support needed at national level in order to continue working on this complex issue.
SEEHN member states have experienced difficulties in recent years in securing uninterrupted access to vaccines as well as to getting affordable vaccine prices. The meeting was organized as follow up on the Statement of Intent to commit to immunization as a priority, signed in February 2018 in Podgorica by Ministers of Health of all SEEHN member states plus Slovenia and Croatia as partner countries.