The Sabin Vaccine Institute announced the launch of the newly-formed International Association of Immunization Managers (IAIM). With the support of a five-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, IAIM’s objective is to help drive the achievement of national, regional and international immunization goals, including those in the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP), by fostering forward-thinking and superior management of immunization programs. The association’s governing body, the IAIM ad hoc Governing Council, is holding its inaugural meeting in Washington, D.C.
Tremendous gains have been made in immunizations over the last 40 years. However, challenges remain and will increase in complexity as new vaccines are added to immunization programs. Immunization managers play a critical role in addressing these challenges, as they are the ones who must skillfully manage and integrate each of the elements of a successful immunization program: cost-effective and dependable procurement processes, reliable funding, an effective cold chain, consistent monitoring of vaccine safety and efficacy, effective surveillance systems, productive and proactive communication with the public, and well-trained health workers.
“How well an immunization manager performs his or her job can make the difference in whether the immunization program succeeds; yet these professionals often are not provided with the opportunities for training, peer-to-peer discussion and exchange and skill-building that they need to advance immunization programs,” said Dr. David Salisbury, President of the newly-formed Association’s ad hoc Governing Council and Director of Immunisation in the United Kingdom’s Department of Health. “Therefore, it is both welcome and timely that we now have an international association for immunization program managers that can equip them with the right tools and professional network for the job.”
IAIM is the first-ever international association for immunization managers. Its objectives are to establish a forum from which immunization managers can discuss and exchange best practices; build and support international and regional networks of immunization managers; and provide immunization managers with opportunities to develop their technical and leadership capacity. The main benefits IAIM will provide for its members include: convening international and regional meetings to provide a forum for discussion, access to training and cutting-edge information and networking opportunities; organizing peer-to-peer exchanges as a means of sharing success factors and problem-solving strategies among immunization managers; and creating an interactive website where members can access and share best practices, research, training and tools.
The Sabin Vaccine Institute serves as the Secretariat for IAIM and is responsible for executing its day-to-day operations.
“Sabin is proud to serve as secretariat for this new and important association,” said Dr. Ciro de Quadros, Executive Vice President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute. “Immunization has been and remains one of the best public health solutions to save and improve lives, but there are many unmet needs. IAIM provides a unique forum to facilitate the vital communication and innovation needed to close these gaps.”
“IAIM has a vision to strengthen current and future generations of national immunization program managers who can effectively shape their programs, introduce changes and innovations, and solve problems for improving program performance,” said Mr. Peter Carrasco, Director of the IAIM Secretariat at the Sabin Vaccine Institute. “This will help immunization programs overcome the challenges of the present and rise to meet the challenges of the future.”
Source: Sabin Vaccine Institute