The Comprehensive Immunization (CIM) program has a specific goal of reducing the impact of vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) on the population in a sustainable and fair manner. By implementing control and elimination strategies, the program aims to improve the overall quality of life for people in the Americas. This is achieved through promoting and coordinating technical cooperation and partnerships. The program also strives to extend the average life expectancy of individuals in the region.
For over four decades, the Americas has been a global leader in eliminating and controlling VPDs, such as smallpox, polio, rubella, congenital rubella syndrome, measles, and neonatal tetanus, due to the success of the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) introduced in 1977. Initially involving the use of six vaccines in national immunization plans, countries have now increased their protection levels by utilizing an average of more than 16 vaccines. This significant progress has been made possible through the efforts of the EPI.
In line with the “Activating Immunization as a Public Good for Universal Health” resolution endorsed by PAHO’s Governing Body in 2021, CIM adopts innovative approaches and best practices. The program focuses on six key action lines to revitalize vaccination programs in member countries. These include immunization program leadership and funding, enhanced monitoring and analysis of immunization coverage through the integration of digital intelligence strategies, the integration of immunization programs into primary health care systems to achieve universal health coverage, improving public awareness and trust in vaccines, employing innovative and strategic communication approaches to enhance access to services, and strengthening human resources and capacity for immunization programs. The program also emphasizes the utilization of scientific evidence to guide decision-making and program implementation.