The massive expansion of vaccine coverage since the mid-1980s - from 25% to 80% of the developing world's children - has depended heavily on vaccines paid for by international aid. But 20 developing countries pay their own vaccine bills. They include three very large, poor countries, China, Egypt, and Indonesia. A further 15 nations pay over half of their own vaccine costs.
Over 100 million infants a year need immunizing against six diseases. Although vaccines are a relatively small proportion of total immunization costs, vaccine self-sufficiency is an indicator of the priority attached to immunization, and therefore of the sustainability of programmes.
The tables below rank 58 nations, representing nearly 80% of the developing world's children, according to the proportion of routine childhood vaccine costs borne by government.
Photo: Vaccine independence - a test of strength for immunization programmes.©
% of routine immunization costs paid by government in 1995
|Costa Rica||89||Viet Nam||25|
* Iraq was paying for all vaccines before the war in the Persian Gulf.
SOURCE UNICEF field offices and WHO, January 1996.