HHS Updates National Vaccine Plan

John Commins, February 17, 2011

The Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday unveiled a new National Vaccine Plan – the first major revamp since the plan was created in 1994 -- to coordinate and improve public access to federal vaccine and immunization programs over the next decade.

The new 10-year plan addresses a range of issues, including research and development, supply, financing, distribution, safety, global cooperation, and informed decision-making among consumers and healthcare providers, HHS said.

"Vaccines are a critical cornerstone of the public health system," said Assistant Secretary for Health Howard K. Koh, MD. "The National Vaccine Plan articulates a vision that will ensure that the nation's prevention strategies protect the public for the next decade and beyond."

Many Americans still suffer from infectious diseases that can be prevented by vaccines, and the updated plan calls for improve delivery of existing vaccines and to spur development of new products to prevent infectious disease. The National Vaccine Plan uses input from public health and medical experts, federal, state, and local government officials, and the public, HHS said.

"This plan is a 10-year vision for the nation to more effectively prevent infectious diseases and reduce adverse reactions to vaccines," said Bruce Gellin, MD, director of the National Vaccine Program Office and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health. "The plan is national in scope. Implementation will require a well-organized effort among stakeholders, including federal, state and local policymakers, health care providers, manufacturers, academia, philanthropic organizations, and the public."

HHS will sponsor regional meetings with stakeholders this spring and summer, which will focus on implementing the strategies in the plan. Final implementation of the plan will be completed by the end of the year.

To see the National Vaccine Plan, click here

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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