Impact of introducing the pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines into the routine immunization program in Niger

Am J Public Health. 2012 Feb;102(2):269-76. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300218. Epub 2011 Nov 28.


Objectives: We investigated whether introducing the rotavirus and pneumococcal vaccines, which are greatly needed in West Africa, would overwhelm existing supply chains (i.e., the series of steps required to get a vaccine from the manufacturers to the target population) in Niger.

Methods: As part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded Vaccine Modeling Initiative, we developed a computational model to determine the impact of introducing these new vaccines to Niger's Expanded Program on Immunization vaccine supply chain.

Results: Introducing either the rotavirus vaccine or the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine could overwhelm available storage and transport refrigerator space, creating bottlenecks that would prevent the flow of vaccines down to the clinics. As a result, the availability of all World Health Organization Expanded Program on Immunization vaccines to patients might decrease from an average of 69% to 28.2% (range = 10%-51%). Addition of refrigerator and transport capacity could alleviate this bottleneck.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that the effects on the vaccine supply chain should be considered when introducing a new vaccine and that computational models can help assess evolving needs and prevent problems with vaccine delivery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Computer Simulation
  • Drug Storage
  • Heptavalent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs / organization & administration*
  • Immunization Programs / supply & distribution
  • Niger
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Refrigeration
  • Rotavirus Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Rotavirus Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Transportation
  • Vaccines, Attenuated / administration & dosage
  • Vaccines, Attenuated / therapeutic use
  • World Health Organization


  • Heptavalent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines
  • RIX4414 vaccine
  • RotaTeq
  • Rotavirus Vaccines
  • Vaccines, Attenuated