Exploring the role of health systems stakeholders in the European vaccine ecosystem: A simulation game

Vaccines are recognised as one of the most cost-effective public health interventions for preventing infectious diseases. Each year, vaccination stops 2.7 million people worldwide from getting measles, one million from getting pertussis and two million babies from getting tetanus.[1]

However, are we really aware of what it takes to bring a safe and efficacious vaccine to the market and how many different ‘actors’ can impact the process? The vaccine ecosystem is an organism/community made up of different elements which interact with each other and their environment. This means that actions in one part of the ecosystem will have consequences elsewhere, sometimes upsetting a delicate balance. Decisions on prioritisation of new pathogens for research and development (R&D), regulatory requirements, manufacturing and supply capacity, industrial and technology policies, procurement, pricing policies, forecasting, and stockpiling practices, and financing of vaccination programmes, all impact access to vaccines globally and in a given country.

Ultimately, these components should lead to a predictable and sustainable supply of innovative, qualitative, and affordable vaccines to meet public health needs. This session Exploring the role of health systems stakeholders in the European vaccine ecosystem: A simulation game, hosted by MSD and Sanofi, aims to help the audience understand and recognise the many different components of the vaccine ecosystem, and how they are all interconnected.

The session is an innovative role-play where the audience can ‘switch hats’ and act as representative of one of the eight stakeholders groups defined as driving forces of the European vaccine ecosystem: civil society, EU institutions, Ministries of Health, healthcare professionals, manufacturers, procurement actors, media and regulators. The session will showcase how the different groups of stakeholders are extremely dependent on each other’s support to achieve their goals and on how any action has a tangible impact on the other drivers of the vaccines system – as coverage rates, access, supply, affordability.

The keynote address at the session will be delivered by Prof Americo Cicchetti, Director of the Graduate School of Health Economics and Management (ALTEMS); Professor of Management at Universita’ Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy. Prof Cicchetti will be joined by Prof Sandra C. Buttigieg, Head of Department of Health Systems Management and Leadership, University of Malta.

For logistical reasons, this session requires a prior expression of interest. If you wish to attend this session, while at the EHMA Conference, please contact us at federica.margheri@ehma.org.

[1] www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/immunisation-and-vaccines