What CDC is Doing in Global Immunization

Updated April 20, 2023

CDC’s Global Immunization Division (GID) works to strengthen global immunization programs, both operationally and scientifically, to prevent and advance the control, elimination, and eradication of vaccine-preventable diseases (VPD). GID works with U.S and global partners to:

A Pashtun child shows off her marked pinkie finger following polio vaccination.

Promote Equity by:

  • Finding and vaccinating persistently missed children and other underserved populations
  • Supporting new vaccine introduction against diseases that are high burden

Prevent Disease by:

  • Helping countries achieve global control, elimination, and eradication targets for high burden VPDs
  • Reducing large or disruptive VPD outbreaks

Build Strong Immunization Programs that:

  • Deliver immunizations to all children and adults
  • Strengthen the delivery of other public health interventions

GID is Dedicated to Ensuring That Everyone, Everywhere, Shares in the Benefits of Immunizations

Establishing and sustaining essential immunization services to deliver vaccines across the life course is critical to advancing health equity, in the U.S. and around the world. CDC’s global immunization mission helps improve vaccine equity, a pillar for strengthening global health security, to reduce VPD-death, disease, and disability and protect Americans where they live, work, and play.

Through global engagement, CDC:

  • Innovates to speed the availability and deployment of new vaccines and diagnostics
  • Develops and implements vaccine strategies to prevent transmission and disease
  • Works with countries to strengthen surveillance, laboratory, and immunization programs to enhance their ability to detect and respond to outbreaks
  • Supports countries and partners to sustain adequate resources and workforce, evidence-based decision making, and immunization safety systems that protect domestic and global populations

CDC Focuses on Countries with the Highest Burden of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

GID’s focus on these priority countries helps CDC guide investments to save and improve the most lives through vaccination.

Tier 1 priority countries account for more than:

  • 55% of unvaccinated children who are most at risk for VPD-related death, disease, and disability globally
  • 75% of measles deaths, the leading contributor to VPD-related childhood deaths worldwide

In Tier 2 priority countries, there are high numbers of unvaccinated children, and these countries are critical to achieving global vaccine-preventable eradication, elimination, or control targets.

CDC focuses on countries with high burden, divided into Tier 1 and Tier 2 categories.
CDC Priority: Countries with Highest Burden of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

Tier 1 countries: Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines. These countries account for 55% of unvaccinated children and 75% of measles deaths.
Tier 2 countries: Angola, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Laos, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Ukraine, Viet Nam, Yemen. These countries have high numbers of unvaccinated children.

Immunization programs can most effectively prevent death, disease, and disabilities when national vaccine coverage rates are high, sustained, and reach at-risk populations across the life course. CDC helps improve these rates by strengthening systems, identifying priority populations, removing barriers, and supporting vaccination through global partnerships.

Learn more about CDC’s Global Immunization Strategic Framework.