VoICE is a project of the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at Johns Hopkins University and is made possible with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. We thank the many partners who have contributed to VoICE with their time, energy and expertise. For questions and comments, please contact Julie Younkin, firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the VoICE tool?
VoICE is a browsable, queryable database of information about the broad benefits of immunization and costs of vaccine-preventable disease. The tool is designed to capture the many ways in which immunization can be valued, and to present the evidence supporting a broader valuation of vaccines for use by advocates.
The scope of VoICE
Traditionally, the value of immunizations has been measured by vaccines’ potential to avert a certain number of disease episodes or deaths. While VoICE does include some of these direct morbidity and mortality measures, its intent is to present the broader ripple effects of immunization and of vaccine-preventable disease on the health, economic status, societal wellbeing and equity of individuals, communities and nations.
The information contained in VoICE has been drawn from peer-reviewed literature and other sources and synthesized with policy-focused immunization, child health and global health advocacy organizations in mind. VoICE is intended to provide explanations and illustrations of the ways in which immunization has been linked to a variety of societal, economic and health outcomes and factors. Each of these linkages (called “key ideas”) is supported by one or more sources. In this way, the content found in VoICE may be leveraged by advocates to strengthen messaging and arguments within existing advocacy strategies and programs.
The VoICE tool contains more than 100 key ideas, data summaries and sources illustrating the broad value of immunization and toll of vaccine-preventable disease as organized under 5 primary topic areas and more than 20 subtopics.
Although sources found in VoICE are drawn from every continent around the world, our focus is primarily on the value of immunization in low- and middle-income countries and communities.
VoICE is not intended to represent a comprehensive collection of all available research or evidence around the value of vaccines, nor cover all available or future vaccines to the same extent. Rather, VoICE captures a sampling of the available evidence under each subtopic. In addition, given its intention to synthesize and summarize information into straightforward messages, VoICE is best suited for advocates and communicators rather than a systematic source of evidence for technical decision-making.
Most of the sources of information contained in VoICE have been drawn from peer-reviewed study publications taken from known scientific and technical journals. In the absence of rigorous, peer-reviewed research, secondary sources used to support Key Ideas may include expert commentaries or editorials, white papers or reports issued by known researchers and experts. In very limited cases, a Key Idea may be supported by a press release as a Source. These releases come only from trusted expert bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) or the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC). We do not include press releases from private companies or individuals.
Given the multiple facets of available information on the value of vaccination, we have limited sources contained in the database to those published in English.
A set of guidance for the use and generalizability of each data source is in process and its rollout will be announced in the VoICE Bulletin to which users may subscribe by sending an email to Julie Younkin – email@example.com.