A critical challenge facing middle-income countries (MICs) is effective and accurate reporting systems for tracking routine immunisation. Electronic immunisation registries (EIRs) track vaccinations at the individual level and throughout the life course and can integrate the tracking of coverage across different providers in both the public and private sector. Countries are now considering expanding the EIRs and other digital immunisation tracking systems they created for COVID-19 to include routine immunisation. Below are a few of the top resources that country stakeholders can use to understand the opportunities and challenges of EIRs, as well as considerations to facilitate a smooth transition from paper-based to electronic systems.
Linked Learning Engagement: Benefits and Implementation Considerations for Electronic Immunisation Registries (EIRs)
Last month, Linked brought together nearly 60 immunisation and primary health care practitioners from 10 middle-income countries (MICs) – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Georgia, Indonesia, Kiribati, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam – for a virtual learning exchange on the “Benefits and Implementation Considerations for Electronic Immunisation Registries.” The learning engagement aimed to answer the following learning objectives:
- What are the benefits and lessons learnt from using EIRs, including those developed for COVID-19 vaccination and for routine immunisation?
- What are the implementation challenges (finance, technical expertise, training, digital infrastructure, etc.)?
- How do you facilitate a smooth transition from an existing paper-based system to an EIR?
Speakers from Australia, Bhutan, and Vietnam discussed their countries’ experiences with EIRs and shared lessons that can inform other countries’ adoption of EIRs. Due to the high level of demand and interest in this topic, Linked Network Facilitators are exploring additional learning opportunities on EIRs. The presentation and recording from this initial engagement are available on our website.
Linked Blog: Linked Countries Learn from Australia, Bhutan, and Vietnam About Benefits & Implementation Considerations for Electronic Immunisation Registries
To complement the materials from the virtual learning exchange described above, “Benefits and Implementation Considerations for EIRs”, Linked developed a blog with key highlights and takeaways from the discussion. The blog outlines the main points from each of the presentations from Australia, Bhutan, and Vietnam, including challenges, lessons learned, and recommendations for other countries considering implementing an EIR.
Linked Blog: National Immunisation Registers – Recent Experiences in Supporting COVID-19 Vaccination and Integrating Adult and Child Vaccination Delivery
For many low- and middle-income countries, existing systems for tracking childhood vaccinations were sufficient to meet program management needs, and the potential benefits of an EIR may not have justified the development challenges and costs of adoption. COVID-19 changed this fundamentally in two ways. This blog, authored by Ravi P. Rannan-Eliya, Executive Director, Institute for Health Policy, makes the case for the benefits and uses of EIRs and why countries should use the momentum from the COVID-19 pandemic to improve their vaccination tracking.
Electronic Immunisation Information Systems: A Case Report of Lessons Learned from Implementation in Pakistan
This case report details the technical support provided to the Sindh Department of Health/Expanded Program on Immunisation (DOH/EPI) from 2015 to 2017 to strengthen routine immunisation based on the program’s experience developing an immunisation information system used by district health officers to register and track individual immunisation status, improve vaccine logistics, and generate more accurate population estimates and vaccination targets.
Electronic Immunisation Registries in Latin America: Progress and Lessons Learned
Countries in Latin America are rapidly developing and implementing national EIRs to improve the monitoring of immunisation coverage. These countries are using a variety of approaches toward system conception and development; integration with larger health information systems; different modalities for data collection, entry, and transmission; and other key features. This report outlines the progress, modalities used for EIR development, and lessons learned from the region.
Electronic Immunization Registry: Practical Considerations for Planning, Development, Implementation and Evaluation
This document is designed to support EPI managers and their teams in the implementation of EIR-related information systems, using the various experiences compiled at the global level, and, especially, in the Region of the Americas. It provides relevant background and experiences for the development, implementation, maintenance, monitoring, and evaluation of EIR systems, as well as technical, functional, and operational recommendations.
Vaccine Registers – Experiences from Europe and Elsewhere
In this special issue, Eurosurveillance has presented a series of articles from countries in Europe, Australia and Canada, describing their various experiences with the introduction of vaccine registers. The lessons outlined illustrate the many potential opportunities of such systems and some of the challenges and the alternatives that may be available.
Added Value of Electronic Immunisation Registries in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Observational Case Study in Tanzania
This study presents ways in which EIRs can add value to immunisation programmes beyond measuring vaccine coverage using data from Tanzania as a case study. The findings show that individual-level electronic data can enable new analyses to understand service delivery or care-seeking patterns, potential risk factors for underimmunisation, and where challenges occur.