To establish a ranking of national immunization programs in Latin America that compares the various realities, identifies challenges and unachieved goals, and encourages countries to search for strategies to overcome the obstacles they face.
Ten countries with the most innovative national vaccination schedules (NVCs) were selected. Information published on official websites of ministries of health, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) were used, as well as interviews with experts from each country. A ranking was constructed, based on domains linked to the 2019 NVC (vaccinations given at different life stages, influenza vaccination, and vaccination in special situations); vaccination coverage in 2018; and programmatic aspects.
The general ranking is led by Chile and Panama, due to vaccination in the first and second year of life. They are followed by Argentina, Uruguay, and Costa Rica, which stand out for vaccination of other groups, influenza vaccination, and programmatic aspects. Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico have more delays in their NVCs, as well as programmatic gaps and lower vaccination coverages. Finally, Paraguay and Peru have similar deficiencies and bigger information gaps. However, when the domains are analyzed individually, the
ranking changes and the same pattern is not repeated.
This is the first ranking of national immunization programs in Latin America that highlights strengths and weaknesses in each country. The periodicity of this exercise will be key when comparing the evolution and positioning of these programs over time.