On 20-21 March 2012, PAHO immunization project conducted a workshop in Buenos Aires, Argentina to identify lessons learned from the introduction of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Some of the meeting objectives were to share experiences between countries with different scenarios and vaccination schedules as well as to identify the strengths, opportunities and problems that arose in the logistic and operational process of the PCV introduction. The workshop also discussed the critical aspects of the PCV introduction in order to support the introduction process in other countries of the Region and other WHO Regions.
The workshop consisted of three phases. The first phase included a presentation that summarized the global vision of the PCV introduction as well as the progress achieved in the Regions. Dr Carsten Mantel from WHO HQ/IVB, Ms Lúcia de Oliveira from PAHO, as well as EPI representatives from Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Colombia, Honduras, Paraguay, and Perú presented on this topic. During the second phase, countries were divided into five groups, which discussed one of the following lessons learned: decision making, vaccination schedule, interchangeability and the calculation of the number of doses for the year of PCV introduction. The Caribbean group discussed all themes. The last phase of the workshop contained the presentation and justification of the lessons learned identified by each group. The discussion and conclusion of the meeting were conducted by Dr Cuauhtémoc Ruíz Matus, Senior Advisor of the Comprehensive Family Immunization Project. The main aspects and results of the workshop will be included in a technical document that will be published and distributed by PAHO to its Member Countries.
Published in Global Immunization Newsletter, March 2012.