This week marks World Immunization Week, an annual celebration of vaccines that raises awareness and increases rates of immunization against vaccine-preventable diseases around the world. To mark World Immunization Week, Take as Directed launches a conversation recorded earlier in the year to place immunization within the debate around Universal Health Coverage (UHC). In a world faced by not only a pandemic threat but also continuing infectious disease challenges, immunization and universal health coverage is more important than ever.
In this episode, Senior Fellow Katherine Bliss talks to two immunization experts: Angela Shen, retired Captain from the U.S. Public Health Service with over 22 years of service at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and Lora Shimp, Technical Director for Immunizations at John Snow Inc. They discuss what the difference is between universal health care and coverage, and how including immunizations under a larger package of preventative services means more people benefit for a cheaper cost. In an era of competing priorities, why should we be focusing on immunization? What does the Immunization Agenda provide for, and will it be accepted by the global community? And can this Agenda help us reach complete immunization coverage worldwide?