ThinkWell is launching a new project to generate high-quality economic evidence on the delivery of immunization and other essential health services to zero-dose children and missed communities. This project will bring together global and country level institutions to close these evidence gaps, and strengthen capacity at local research institutes to produce actionable economic evidence to inform policy making and program management.
The global community has set ambitious goals to look beyond national immunization coverage outcomes and prioritize communities that have been left behind from the advances made over the last decades. Reaching so-called zero-dose children, those that have missed out on all routine vaccines¹, is a central pillar of both WHO’s Immunization Agenda 2030 and Gavi’s 5.0 strategy, however, economic evidence to support decisionmakers in this is lacking.
Estimating the costs and benefits of reaching zero-dose children will require a new way of thinking, including novel research design, methods, and metrics. Economic evidence for immunization programs is usually focused on estimating the average costs and benefits of reaching a broad population group, but reaching zero-dose children likely comes with increasing marginal costs.
ThinkWell will work with research institutions in three countries to generate critical economic evidence on reaching zero-dose children. In each of the countries, these local research institutes will facilitate the development of the scope of the study and work with the ministry of health to frame the research question. The researchers will lead the study design, implementation, and analysis, with coaching and mentoring support from ThinkWell, from global level methodological experts, and from each other.
¹As measured by the proxy indicator: number of children that lack the first dose of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis containing vaccine (DTP1)