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Goal 4: Ensure a Stable Supply of, Access to, and Better Use of Recommended Vaccines in the United States

Healthy People 2020 data show that in 2011 the majority of childhood and toddler vaccination coverage rates met or exceeded their Healthy People 2020 targets. Substantial disparities exist among racial and ethnic groups in adult and adolescent vaccination levels for many vaccines. And, for many vaccines targeted to adolescents and adults such as the HPV vaccine, current coverage levels are falling short of targets.  

Goal 4 focuses on addressing barriers to reaching goals for vaccine coverage.  The intent of Goal 4 is clear: make sure people of all ages in the United States have access to a readily available supply of recommended vaccines, and to develop effective strategies to increase their use.  To achieve this, the implementation of the National Vaccine Plan focuses on several areas, including ensuring a consistent and adequate supply of vaccines, adequate delivery of vaccines to patients by health care providers, reducing financial barriers to vaccination, educating health care providers in vaccination counseling, and conducting surveillance of vaccine coverage, vaccine effectiveness, and the occurrence of vaccine-preventable diseases as well as diseases that may one day be prevented by vaccines that are not yet available.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its partner agencies are working hard to manage these challenges.  One of the primary responsibilities of the National Vaccine Program Office is fostering collaboration across HHS agencies as a way to efficiently and effectively manage these challenges.

Selected highlights:

  • Contracts awarded, through the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, to five vaccine manufacturers to produce master seed stocks for influenza viruses with pandemic potential.
  • Established an International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering award-winning cell-based influenza vaccine manufacturing facility in the United States to increase the domestic supply seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines.
  • Partnerships with non-government organizations to make influenza vaccination more financially accessible.
  • Accurate tracking of vaccine-preventable diseases and disease rates, including supporting specialized systems (e.g., those for pertussis tracking).
  • New mapping tool to track influenza vaccination claims rates by Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Identifying health care system and provider barriers and facilitators of immunization.
  • Expanding access to vaccines via partnerships with pharmacists and other immunization providers.
  • Broadening of access to vaccines without cost-sharing through the Affordable Care Act.
  • Working to foster use of health information technology for vaccine and immunization tracking.

Read more in the full State of the National Vaccine Plan 2013 Annual Report [PDF]