Nationwide implementation of a vaccine is usually preferred because of economies of scale, equity considerations, and the larger impact expected with a national introduction. However, in large countries, the complexities and potential lack of experience in providing vaccines to pregnant women may be a barrier to introducing influenza vaccine to this group. A phased introduction, in one or several districts with different characteristics (e.g. urban/rural, high/low coverage), can help to identify potential bottlenecks and facilitate the subsequent scale-up at national level.
A phased introduction delivering influenza vaccine on a small scale may be useful to:
- test programmatic feasibility by determining the costs of vaccine introduction as well as the human and financial resources needed to support optimal delivery;
- pilot and refine training and communication plans and materials to fit the local context;
- determine and test strategies on how to best access pregnant women and monitor vaccination in this group;
- provide a proof of concept for the proposed delivery strategies when current national capacities can support only a limited number of provinces or districts and demonstrating proof of concept may serve to secure external funding;
- evaluate attitudes, acceptability and barriers in the community, pregnant women, and among health professionals – to help refine communication strategies.
Which of the following are potential benefits of a phased introduction for delivery of maternal influenza vaccine? Mark all that are true.
|A. Test program feasibility by determining costs|
|B. Increase vaccine coverage across the country as quickly as possible|
|C. Evaluate attitudes to help refine communication strategies|
|D. Provide a proof of concept for the proposed delivery strategy|
Answers A, C, D are correct.