Survey of distribution of seasonal influenza vaccine doses in 201 countries (2004-2015): The 2003 World Health Assembly resolution on seasonal influenza vaccination coverage and the 2009 influenza pandemic have had very little impact on improving influenza control and pandemic preparedness

Vaccine. 2017 Aug 24;35(36):4681-4686. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2017.07.053. Epub 2017 Jul 25.


There is no global monitoring system for influenza vaccination coverage, making it difficult to assess progress towards the 2003 World Health Assembly (WHA) vaccination coverage target. In 2008, the IFPMA Influenza Vaccine Supply International Task Force (IVS) developed a survey method to assess the global distribution of influenza vaccine doses as a proxy for vaccination coverage rates. The latest dose distribution data for 2014 and 2015 was used to update previous analyses. Data were confidentially collected and aggregated by the IFPMA Secretariat, and combined with previous IFPMA IVS survey data (2004-2013). Data were available from 201 countries over the 2004-2015 period. A "hurdle" rate was defined as the number of doses required to reach 15.9% of the population in 2008. Overall, the number of distributed doses progressively increased between 2004 and 2011, driven by a 150% increase in AMRO, then plateaued. One percent fewer doses were distributed in 2015 than in 2011. Twenty-three countries were above the hurdle rate in 2015, compared to 15 in 2004, but distribution was highly uneven in and across all WHO regions. Three WHO regions (AMRO, EURO and WPRO) accounted for about 95% of doses distributed. But in EURO and WPRO, distribution rates in 2015 were only marginally higher than in 2004, and in EURO there was an overall downward trend in dose distribution. The vast majority of countries cannot meet the 2003WHA coverage targets and are inadequately prepared for a global influenza pandemic. With only 5% of influenza vaccine doses being distributed to 50% of the world's population, there is urgency to redress the gross inequities in disease prevention and in pandemic preparedness. The 2003WHA resolution must be reviewed and revised and a call issued for the renewed commitment of Member States to influenza vaccination coverage targets.

Keywords: Monitoring and evaluation; Pandemic preparedness; Seasonal influenza; Vaccination coverage rates; Vaccination policy; Vaccine recommendations.

MeSH terms

  • Global Health*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Influenza Vaccines*
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control*
  • Pandemics / prevention & control
  • Seasons
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data
  • Vaccination / trends
  • Vaccination Coverage / statistics & numerical data*


  • Influenza Vaccines