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Technical Officer, Vaccine-preventable Diseases and Immunization

Copenhagen (Denmark)


All Member States of WHO in the European Region share the common value of the highest attainable standard of health as a fundamental human right. All of WHO actions are based on this and rooted in the underlying values of equity, solidarity and participation.As set in the 12th General Programme of Work (2014-2019), WHO directs and coordinates international health by\:(i) Providing leadership on matters critical to health and engaging in partnerships where joint action is needed;(ii) Shaping the research agenda and stimulating the generation, translation and dissemination of valuable knowledge;(iii) Setting norms and standards, and promoting and monitoring their implementation;(iv) Articulating ethical and evidence-based policy options;(v) Providing technical support, catalysing change, and building sustainable institutional capacity;(vi) Monitoring the health situation and assessing health trends. WHO's mandate revolves around six core functions\: (i) providing leadership on global health matters; (ii) shaping the health research agenda; (iii) setting norms and standards; (iv) articulating evidence-based policy options; (v) providing technical support to countries; and (vi) monitoring and assessing health trends.The European Region (EURO) of WHO is made up of 53 countries, with over 880 million people. The diversity of people and health situations requires, on the demand side, a solid understanding of the emerging socio-economic, epidemiologic and demographic patterns and trends at both aggregate as well as national and sub-national levels, with due sensitivity to disadvantaged populations and vulnerable segments of the society. On the supply side, it is equally crucial to have a solid understanding of the commonalities and divergences of the health systems, the circumstances and political economy under which they have evolved and operate and, more specifically, how these bear upon the way the health system stewardship function of health ministries is carried out.The Division of Health Emergencies and Communicable Diseases (DEC) promotes WHO leadership in communicable disease prevention and control and in health security; sets norms and standards and proposes evidence-based policy options; provides high-level technical support to countries, including for preparedness and response to health threats; monitors health situations and assesses the trends in major communicable diseases and other health threats; and shapes the research agenda through relevant regional initiatives, partnerships and research projects. The work is performed in collaboration with relevant partners and stakeholders, including other sectors, civil society and the UN family.Vaccine-preventable Diseases and Immunization Programme (DEC/VPI) provides policy guidance and technical assistance to countries in\:(i) achieving/maintaining elimination/eradication goals for measles, rubella and poliomyelitis;(ii) strengthening preparedness, surveillance and response systems to address outbreaks, and (iii) maximizing equitable access of all people to vaccines of assured quality, including new immunization products and technologies.Being one of the four objectives of the WHO Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018 , the global PV containment becomes the issue of the high importance over the last few years since the implementation of the WHO Global Action Plan (GAP III) to minimize PV facility-associated risk after type-specific eradication of wild PV (WPV) and sequential cessation of oral polio vaccine (OPV) use was urged in 2015 by the Global Commission for the Certification of the Eradication of Poliomyelitis and the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunization, on the basis of resolution of WHA 68.3.EURO hosts the highest number of Member States with a rich history and practice of poliovirus research and laboratory investigations as well as polio vaccines manufacturing, resulting in the highest number of institutions worldwide that would store and/or handle PV infectious or potentially infectious materials.This puts a heavy workload on the WHO Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe) to adequately facilitate PV containment both at a country and at the regional levels and to move forward to reach the objectives of the global PV containment.


The purpose of the post is to provide technical and expert support in the area of Poliovirus Containment, strengthening the capacity of the Vaccine-preventable Diseases and Immunization Programme of the Division of Health Emergencies and Communicable Diseases (DEC/VPI) to implement Poliovirus (PV) Containment Initiative in the European Region (EURO) of WHO.1. Conduct systematic technical communication with Member States (MS) to ensure timely update and verification of their National Inventories of all facilities handling/storing PVs in accordance with the global progress in the PV Containment initiative implementation.2. Provide technical input into containment-specific risk assessments and conduct expert analysis of the MS annual country updates for the Regional Certification Commission (RCC), develop and propose corrective measures as required. 3. Provide expert assistance to National authority for containment to facilitate the certification of Poliovirus Essential Facilities in line with the Containment Certification Scheme upon request from MS. Conduct dynamic review of multiple requests for assistance and the technical progress in the countries and adjust facilitation policies as necessary. 4. Participate in WHO/Europe or joint WHO/HQ and WHO/Europe in-country missions to meet relevant national authorities or institutions to provide relevant technical advice, advocacy and to influence the implementation of PV containment procedures. 5. Provide technical input into the organization of training course(s)/simulation exercises on PV containment as needed or required by developing exercise scenarios.Provide technical input into the implementation of VPI activities beyond PV containment initiative that are focused on the maintaining of the polio-free status of the European Region in accordance with the objectives of the Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018 and GPEI.



Essential\: University degree in the field of microbiology or virology.
Desirable\: Post-graduate qualification in picornavirus virology.


Essential\: --> More than five years of documented work experience in the field of virology (picornavirology preferred) and biosafety/biosecurity at national and/or international level;--> Experience in the area of poliovirus containment in the European region.
Desirable\: Experience in development of laboratory data management systems and SharePoint-based interfaces.


Working knowledge in the area of PV containment in European Region;Documented knowledge of WHO Biorisk Management GAPIII;Documented knowledge of Containment Certification Scheme;Knowledge of poliovirus virology, laboratory biosafety and biosecurity;Proven teaching and communication skills;Demonstrated IT skills (databases, MS Excel, SharePoint).

WHO Competencies

Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
Producing results
Moving forward in a changing environment

Use of Language Skills

Essential\: Expert knowledge of English.
Desirable\: Intermediate knowledge of French. Intermediate knowledge of Russian.


WHO salaries for staff in the Professional category are calculated in US dollars. The remuneration for the above position comprises an annual base salary starting at USD 59,151 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable), a variable post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station, and currently amounts to USD 3189 per month for the duty station indicated above. Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave, allowances for dependent family members, home leave, and an education grant for dependent children.


  • This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.
  • In the event that your candidature is retained for an interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position. WHO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU)/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed through the link\: http\:// Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.
  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and Manual.
  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • WHO has a mobility policy which can be found at the following link\: http\:// Candidates appointed to an international post with WHO are subject to mobility and may be assigned to any activity or duty station of the Organization throughout the world.
  • Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are particularly encouraged.
  • For WHO General Service staff who do not meet the minimum educational qualifications, please see e-Manual III.4.1, para 220./ul>
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Malaria, Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases
  • Closing Date: 2018-03-25

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