SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

Sabin Vaccine Institute launches association of immunization managers

Sabin Vaccine Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing suffering caused by vaccine-preventable and tropical diseases, announced the launch on Monday of the International Association of Immunization Managers.

The IAIM, which was established with the help of a five-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will attempt to drive the achievement of international, national and regional immunization goals. The IAIM will achieve these goals through the fostering of forward-thinking and the superior management of immunization programs.

"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," David Salisbury, the president of the IAIM's ad hoc governing council, said. "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."

Immunization managers must manage and integrate all of the elements needed for a successful immunization program, including an effective cold chain, reliable funding and effective surveillance systems. The IAIM will serve as a forum for immunization managers to discuss and exchange best practices, build and support international and regional networks and gain opportunities to develop technical and leadership capacity.

"Sabin is proud to serve as secretariat for this new and important association," Ciro de Quadros, the executive vice president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, said. "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."

Sabin Vaccine Institute will be responsible for executing IAIM's day-to-day operations.

"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," Peter Carrasco, the director of the IAIM secretariat at the Sabin Vaccine Institute, said. "This will help immunization programs overcome the challenges of the present and rise to meet the challenges of the future."