In a recent study evaluating the introduction of new routine vaccines in Bangladesh, strong partnerships emerged as key drivers in bolstering the nation’s child immunization efforts. Led by the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), collaboration with global health entities such as the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and Gavi, the vaccine alliance, proved instrumental in overcoming challenges and achieving milestones in vaccine introduction.

The study focused on the concurrent introduction of two vital vaccines: the pneumococcal 10-valent conjugate vaccine (PCV-10) and inactivated polio vaccine (IPV). Bangladesh, a country with a high burden of childhood pneumonia and a history of polio eradication efforts, faced various hurdles in the rollout process.

One of the primary challenges encountered was the global supply shortage of PCV-10, leading to delays in the vaccine’s launch from 2013 to 2014. Additionally, discrepancies in vaccine presentation, such as Gavi’s initial approval of a 10-dose vial instead of the requested five-dose vial for IPV, posed implementation obstacles.

However, the timely response and support from partners played a pivotal role in mitigating these challenges. WHO and UNICEF provided technical assistance, including the development of training materials and communication strategies, enhancing demand generation at the community level, and supporting vaccine shipment logistics.

Furthermore, Gavi’s financial backing facilitated efficient management capacity within the EPI, ensuring well-targeted budgets and timely disbursement of funds for vaccine introductions. The partnership between EPI and its collaborators enabled the successful completion of critical milestones, such as training sessions and readiness assessments, despite contextual challenges like political unrest.

The study highlighted the importance of motivation, long-term commitment, financial and technical support, and coordination as key characteristics of successful partnerships. The enduring commitment of WHO and UNICEF, coupled with their alignment with the government’s priorities, contributed significantly to the success of the vaccine introduction process.

Notably, the enhanced capacity of frontline health workers through cascade training programs, coupled with strong advocacy efforts at all administrative levels, further reinforced the effectiveness of the partnership approach. The study’s findings underscored the necessity of robust partnerships in navigating the complexities of introducing new vaccines into routine immunization programs.

Looking ahead, the lessons learned from Bangladesh’s experience can inform future vaccine introduction initiatives, not only within the country but also in other low and middle-income nations. By fostering collaborative partnerships and leveraging global support, countries can strengthen their immunization systems and safeguard the health of children worldwide.


Luies SK, Sultana T, Budden A, Asaduzzaman M, Hossain MB, Kelly M, et al. Partnerships in the introduction of new routine vaccines in Bangladesh: evidence from a prospective process evaluation. BMJ Open [Internet]. 2022;12(9):e061742. Available from:

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