Evidence-based National Vaccine Policy

Indian J Med Res 2010;131: 617-628

Y. Madhavi, Jacob M. Puliyel, Joseph L. Mathew, N. Raghuram, Anant Phadke, Mira Shiva, S. Srinivasan, Yash Paul, R.N. Srivastava, A. Parthasarathy, Sunil Gupta, Udaykumar Ranga, V. Vijaya Lakshmi, Nayana Joshi, Indira Nath, C.M. Gulhati, Prabir Chatterjee, Anuradha Jain, Ritu Priya, Rajib Dasgupta, S. Sridhar, Gopal Dabade, K.M. Gopakumar, Dinesh Abrol, M.R. Santhosh, Sadhana Srivastava, S. Visalakshi, Anurag Bhargava, N.B. Sarojini, Devinder Sehgal, Sakthivel Selvaraj & D. Banerji

India has over a century old tradition of development and production of vaccines. The Government rightly adopted self-sufficiency in vaccine production and self-reliance in vaccine technology as its policy objectives in 1986. However, in the absence of a full-fledged vaccine policy, there have been concerns related to demand and supply, manufacture vs. import, role of public and private sectors, choice of vaccines, new and combination vaccines, universal vs. selective vaccination, routine immunization vs. special drives, cost-benefit aspects, regulatory issues, logistics etc. The need for a comprehensive and evidence based vaccine policy that enables informed decisions on all these aspects from the public health point of view brought together doctors, scientists, policy analysts, lawyers and civil society representatives to formulate this policy paper for the consideration of the Government. This paper evolved out of the first ever ICMR-NISTADS national brainstorming workshop on vaccine policy held during 4-5 June, 2009 in New Delhi, and subsequent discussions over email for several weeks, before being adopted unanimously in the present form.