Vaccine Alliance reaches more than one billion children

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Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance has helped to vaccinate over one billion children with routine vaccines since it was established in 2000 alongside enabling billions of critical vaccinations during campaigns, emergencies and pandemics and is on course to achieve a majority of its 2025 strategic objectives. In total, Gavi has enabled roughly 6 billion vaccinations around the world, protecting children and adults against 19 infectious diseases.

These new figures were unveiled at the Global Vaccine Impact Conference, co-hosted by the Spanish Government, which kicked off in Madrid today and saw the publication of a new report, Raising Generation ImmUnity.

Every year, Gavi provides vaccines to countries to protect half the world’s children and despite the huge strain placed on countries’ health systems by the COVID-19 pandemic, the report finds that it remains on or ahead of schedule in eight of 11 key ambitious commitments it made for the period 2021-2025 (Progress covering two of the five years of the 2021-2025 period). These include efforts to immunise a further 300 million children, prevent between seven and eight million future deaths and unlock US$80-US$100 billion in economic benefits.

Commitments where Gavi’s ambitious goals require additional effort during the current five-year period are in securing further cost savings from manufacturers, increasing countries’ own financial contribution and in helping countries transition away from Gavi support.

These encouraging signs that resilient health systems in the 57 Gavi-implementing countries are having some success in bouncing back following the pandemic appear to be borne out by preliminary data demonstrating a recovery of routine immunisation coverage in 2022. Based on a preliminary analysis of country administrative data shared with Gavi, coverage across Gavi-implementing countries increased by approximately three percentage points in 2022.

This contrasts with a 5% point drop between 2020 and 2021 and will help coverage levels return closer to their historical baseline. Gavi’s goal is to continue that catch-up while also reaching the millions of “zero dose” children still missing out on life-saving vaccinations.

Commenting these figures, Prof José Manuel Barroso, Gavi Board Chair, said: “For over twenty years, Gavi’s operating model has been a solution to the world’s immunisation challenges and at no time was this more the case than in recent years, when it has helped countries not only to weather the worst public health crisis in a century, but protect more and more people from deadly, preventable diseases.”

In addition to its work on essential childhood vaccines, Gavi manages stockpiles of vaccines against Cholera, Yellow Fever, meningococcal disease and Ebola, giving it a crucial role in outbreak response. Gavi also co-leads COVAX, the global initiative for COVID-19 vaccine equity, alongside the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). COVAX has shipped almost 2 billion doses of vaccines – and as the primary source of COVID-19 vaccines for lower-income economies, prevented 2.7 million deaths across 92 lower-income countries. This role in health crisis response gives Gavi vital insights into future efforts on pandemic prevention and preparedness.

“COVID-19 proved beyond a doubt the value of immunisation. We built our response on top of a tried-and-tested immunisation system. With Gavi support, we can strengthen this platform to ensure our health system can withstand future outbreaks”, said H.E. Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Minister of Health of Indonesia.

“In my country, where climate-change and displacement are making it harder, not easier, to deliver health services – vaccines are an essential way to manage outbreaks and save lives,” said Dr Abdelmadjid Abderahim, Minister of Public Health and Prevention, Chad.

“It is an evolutionary certainty that outbreaks of infectious diseases will only increase due to climate change and population growth. That is why, in addition to protecting a whole generation of young people against preventable diseases, our Alliance has delivered billions more doses of vaccines to help countries fight outbreaks and pandemics. Despite the increasing complexity of the world in which we operate, Gavi is having more impact than ever before, responding to a growing list of global health challenges,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi.

“Millions of children missed out on essential vaccines in the last three years. Catching up these children is a priority this year, as we rebuild our health systems post-pandemic. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, are a critical part of the push to catch up, recover and strengthen immunization systems so each child can thrive,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Reaching 1 billion children with lifesaving vaccines is an impressive milestone and a testament to what we can achieve for children when we work together. Yet the job is far from done. As health systems and the immunization services they provide continue to recover from the impact of the pandemic, it’s critical that we continue our joint efforts to ensure that children, everywhere, have access to routine childhood vaccinations. It offers children the best shot at living healthy and happy lives,” said Catherine Russell, Executive Director of UNICEF.

The publication of Raising Generation ImmUnity comes as world leaders and immunisation experts gather in Madrid for the Global Vaccine Impact Conference, the first in-person conference on the state of global vaccination since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Opened by Spain’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares and taking place during 13-15 June, the Conference will bring heads of state or ministers together with leaders from the Vaccine Alliance, civil society, business and academia to assess the current state of immunisation as well as the challenges that lie ahead.

In addition to considering the findings in the report, the meeting’s agenda will also cover other key strategic concerns for the Alliance, such as how to rejuvenate HPV vaccinations, the historic roll out of malaria vaccines, how to mitigate the impact of climate change and prepare for the next pandemic.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership that helps vaccinate half the world’s children against some of the world’s deadliest diseases. The Vaccine Alliance brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private sector partners. View the full list of donor governments and other leading organisations that fund Gavi’s work here.

Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has helped to immunise a whole generation – over 1 billion children – and prevented more than 16.2 million future deaths, helping to halve child mortality in 73 lower-income countries. Gavi also plays a key role in improving global health security by supporting health systems as well as funding global stockpiles for Ebola, cholera, meningococcal and yellow fever vaccines.

After two decades of progress, Gavi is now focused on protecting the next generation, above all the zero-dose children who have not received even a single vaccine shot. The Vaccine Alliance employs innovative finance and the latest technology – from drones to biometrics – to save millions more lives, prevent outbreaks before they can spread and help countries on the road to self-sufficiency. Learn more at www.gavi.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Gavi is a co-convener of COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, together with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. In its role, Gavi is focused on procurement and delivery for COVAX: coordinating the design, implementation and administration of the COVAX Facility and the Gavi COVAX AMC and working with its Alliance partners UNICEF and WHO, along with governments, on country readiness and delivery.

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