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The purpose of the 2015-2020 Regional Immunization Action Plan (RIAP) approved by 54th Directing Council in 2015 is to adapt the Global Immunization Action Plan (GVAP) to the regional context and cooperate with countries for the adoption of goals, strategies, and common activities, as well as facilitate dialogue, promote synergy with partners, and continue to strengthen national immunization programs in the Region.

In order to achieve this vision in the Americas, challenges must still be addressed, such as the following: a) ensure universal access to vaccines; b) respond to increasing pressure from "anti-vaccine" groups; c) manage the high cost of new vaccines, which constitutes a barrier to equitable access; d) maintain immunization as a high political priority, as reflected in the sustained allocation of national resources; and e) manage the growing number of immunization partners, which requires coordination and improved communication among partners and with the general population, to ensure the most efficient use of resources, among other things.

RIAP 2015-2020

54DC-7-e   pdf Plan of Action on Immunization
  54th Directing Council - 2015

  Plan of Action on Immunization, Resolution 54DC pdf Plan of Action on Immunization, Resolution (CD54.R8)
  54th Directing Council - 2015


The Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) ? endorsed by the 194 Member States of the World Health Assembly in May 2012 ? is a framework to prevent millions of deaths by 2020 through more equitable access to existing vaccines for people in all communities.

GVAP was the product of the DoV Collaboration, an unprecedented effort that brought together development, health and immunization experts and stakeholders. The leadership of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, GAVI Alliance, UNICEF, United States National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases and WHO, along with all partners - governments and elected officials, health professionals, academia, manufacturers, global agencies, development partners, civil society, media and the private sector - are committed to achieving the ambitious goals of the GVAP. Many more are expected to add their support in the future as the plan is translated and implemented at the country and regional levels.

GVAP 2011-2020

Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP)Global Vaccine Action Plan
65th World Health Assembly, Resolution WHA65.17

Related link: WHO-UNICEF guidelines to countries to make national comprehensive multi-year strategic plans (cMYP) for immunization, using the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) 2011-2020 as a guiding framework.


Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) assessment reports

Annual assessments by the Strategy Group of Experts on Immunization on the progress towards GVAP targets.

GVAP secretariat reports

Annual reports with detailed analysis on the trends for all GVAP indicators. Also includes detailed background documentation. 

The Immunization Job Aids are a collection of useful quick guides published along the years on the Immunization Newsletter. The list presented below is conveniently organized by topics.

The PAHO Immunization Award was established by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to recognize a person, group, or institutions who have greatly contributed to the enhancement of a national immunization program and to the control and/or elimination of vaccine-preventable diseases.

The establishment of this Award follows the receipt of the 1993 Prince Mahidol Award by Dr. Ciro A. de Quadros for his contribution toward Poliomyelitis Eradication in the Western Hemisphere. A portion of the monetary component of Prince Mahidol Award received by Dr. de Quadros was matched with funds from PAHO for the creation of an endowment which allows the PAHO Immunization Award to be conferred.


PAHO Immunization Awards recipients

2019: Dr. Beryl Irons from Jamaica
2017: Dr. Fernando Muñoz Porras from Chile
2015: Ms. Bárbara Cristina Marinho Souza from Brazil
2015: Dr. Elizabeth Ferdinand from Barbados
2014: The Family, Community and Life Cabinet from Matagalpa Department in Nicaragua
2013: Dr. Ida Berenice of Honduras
2011: Uru Chipaya Ethnic Group of Bolivia
2006: The EPI of El Salvador
2006: The EPI of Ecuador
2000: Nurse J. Ramsamong from Jamaica
2000: Nurse Maria Isabel do Nascimento from Brazil

Other recipients from previous TAGs also include:
Ms. Clarice Watson, EPI Nurse Coordinator in Guyana
Ms. Mirian Strul, EPI Manager of Peru
Dr. Rosario Quiroga, EPI Manager of Bolivia
Dr. Miguel Angel Galindo, EPI Manager of Cuba

Procedures for the PAHO Immunization Award 

  1. The PAHO Immunization Award is established to foster the improvement of immunization programs and the control and/or elimination of vaccine-preventable diseases by recognizing national individuals who make special technical contributions to their country's immunization program. The Award will be competed for annually and will consist of a certificate and the sum of approximately US$3,000.00.
  2. The Award shall be conferred to a candidate who has done outstanding work in the field of immunization and control and/or eradication of vaccine-preventable diseases.
  3. To encourage a broad range of candidates, there are no constraints on the education, profession, or specific discipline of individuals or organizations nominated. The Award will be given without regard to nationality.
  4. Nominations are open to individuals or groups working in every level of health or related fields, particularly those working at the field level.
  5. Any individual or organization may submit nominations. Nominations should be accompanied by a detailed written description of the accomplishments of the nominee and an explanation of why these accomplishments merit the PAHO Immunization Award. Nominations should not exceed four (4) pages and will be greatly aided by a curriculum vitae of the nominee. All documentation shall be submitted in one original and three copies.
  6. The Award Committee for the PAHO Immunization Award shall be the PAHO Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Immunization Project, which was established by the PAHO Director in 1985 to advise PAHO on the implementation of the Immunization Project. TAG Members can establish additional criteria for the selection process and the rules for its decision.
  7. Nominees should be presented to the Comprehensive Family Immunization Unit (FGL/IM) Chief through the respective Ministry of Health.
  8. The Immunization Unit Chief will forward to the members of the Award Committee copies of the documentation submitted, so they can decide on the Award's recipient during their deliberations. The Committee will send the Director of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau its recommendations and the Director will announce the winner of the Award.
  9. The Award Committee shall have the authority to declare the Award void in the event that no candidate meets the approved criteria.
  10. Candidates not selected in any given year may be re-nominated for consideration once only, the following year. For such re-nomination, a simple communication incorporating any additional pertinent data shall suffice.
  11. Whenever possible, the Award shall be presented during Immunization Program an event held in the home country of the recipient at the regional level.
  12. Whatever the method of presentation of the Award may be, it shall be accompanied by appropriate publicity issued to the news media, both by the Pan American Sanitary Bureau and the Government concerned.
  13. The Director of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau shall request Member States to give more active consideration to the possibility of making use of the Award to enhance their immunization programs and the control and/or elimination of vaccine-preventable diseases within the framework of national health services.


Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children. The virus is transmitted through contaminated food and water, and multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system.
Many infected people have no symptoms, but do excrete the virus in their faeces, hence transmitting infection to others. Initial symptoms of polio include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck, and pain in the limbs.
In a small proportion of cases, the disease causes paralysis, which is often permanent. Polio can only be prevented by immunization.

Recent Immunization News

The Immunization Program in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic - March 2020

This document provides guidance regarding the operation of immunization programs in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. View it here