Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Access to Vaccines Index?   
The 2017 Access to Vaccines Index maps how 8 major vaccine companies are responding to global calls to improve vaccine coverage, including reaching poor and remote communities. By uncovering what is working and where, the Index helps ensure vaccine markets also reach the poorest and most remote communities.  The Index was published on 6 March 2017. 

Who makes the Access to Vaccines Index?
The Index is produced and published by the Access to Medicine Foundation, an independent non-profit organisation based in the Netherlands. The Foundation's mission is to stimulate and guide pharmaceutical companies to do more for people living in low- and middle-income countries without access to medicine. The Access to Vaccines Index is funded by the Dutch National Postcode Lottery.

What is the aim of the Access to Vaccines Index?
The Access to Vaccines Index maps the efforts of major vaccine companies to increase access to vaccines in low- and middle-income countries. Transparent information sharing about companies’ performances will help good practices to spread. This is particularly useful given the high level of consolidation of the market. Companies and other stakeholders can use the Index analysis to inform priorities and strategies, and to learn where new incentives or stronger mechanisms would spur vaccine companies towards greater engagement in access issues.

What is the role for pharmaceutical companies in improving immunisation coverage?
Vaccines play a unique role in public health by preventing sickness, giving children the opportunity to thrive free from a range of debilitating diseases. Many stakeholders are working to break down the barriers to access. Vaccine companies, due to their technical expertise, know-how and production capacities, have a key role to play: in developing and improving vaccines through R&D; in setting vaccine prices; and in managing vaccine supply planning and production.

What does the Access to Vaccines Index analyse?
The 2017 Access to Vaccines Index evaluates how 8 major vaccine companies are improving access to preventive vaccines in 107 high-need countries. It looks at vaccines for 69 priority diseases – including HIV/AIDS, Ebola and Zika. This includes diseases where no vaccines yet exist on the market, and diseases where existing vaccines face accessibility issues. The Index evaluates companies using 13 metrics across three Research Areas: Research & Development, Pricing & Registration, and Manufacturing & Supply.

How were the 8 companies selected? 
The vaccine market is highly consolidated, with a small group of companies generating the majority of global revenues. In 2014, four companies accounted for 80% of global vaccine revenues. The 2017 Access to Vaccines Index analyses 8 of the world’s largest vaccine developers and manufacturers, selected based on the size and/or volume of their vaccine businesses and whether they have relevant, high-need vaccines on the market or in their pipelines. The companies evaluated are Daiichi Sankyo, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Inc., Pfizer, Sanofi, Serum Institute of India and Takeda.  

Does the data reflect a set time period?  
The 2017 Access to Vaccines Index includes data from 1 June, 2014, to 31 May, 2016.   

Why is immunisation important?
Vaccines are one of the most successful and cost-effective ways to protect billions of people from disease. Through herd immunity, vaccines can even protect those who are not vaccinated. Vaccines have greatly reduced disease, disability, death and inequity globally, saving the lives of up to three million children each year.

Immunisation has eradicated smallpox, and international stakeholders are working to eradicate polio and eliminate measles and rubella. The world’s population stands to benefit from vaccines that do not yet exist, for diseases and pathogens such as HIV/AIDS and Group B streptococcus. Although global immunisation coverage is increasing, nearly one in five children in 2015 did not receive basic life-saving vaccines that the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends for routine immunisation. 


Learn more

View our detailed overview of each company’s performance in the Index, including breakdowns of their product portfolios and R&D pipelines.