This Initiative Has Saved 13 Million Lives. With New Funding, It Could Save Millions More.
Gavi plans to vaccinate 1.1 billion children by the end of 2025.
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance plans to vaccinate 1.1 billion children and save 22 million lives by the end of 2025 — but if the organization is going to succeed, it needs another $7.4 billion.
Gavi officially launched its third replenishment at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Yokohama, Japan, on Friday.
The health initiative is calling on donor countries, partners, and philanthropists to commit new funding for the period of 2021 to 2025.
New funding would allow Gavi and its partners to vaccinate 300 million children during that four-year period, saving an additional 7 to 8 million lives.
Gavi was created in 2000 at a time when global immunization efforts were dwindling and millions of children in low-income countries were unable to access basic vaccines. It is an international organization that works as a partnership between public and private sectors.
Since its launch, Gavi has vaccinated 760 million children and saved more than 13 million lives.
Sustained investment in immunisation is needed to secure prosperity for the next generation, prevent resurgence of diseases and protect against frequent outbreaks made worse by climate change, urbanisation and conflicts. #GenerationHealth2020#TICAD7pic.twitter.com/oaYyO2zJny— Gavi (@gavi) August 30, 2019
But despite great progress, people in marginalized communities continue to lack access to vital vaccines and 1.5 million people die every year from vaccine-preventable diseases.
Gavi’s next replenishment conference will take place in London in June 2020.
“We are really proud that today marked a remarkable launch of Gavi’s replenishment process,” Masahiko Kiya, ambassador for TICAD of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, said in a press release. “At this start of the process, we would like to reiterate the importance of domestic resource mobilisation, finding new funding sources and new donors. We believe that great momentum has been built up towards a successful replenishment conference in the UK next year.”
Between 2021 and 2015, Gavi plans to make vaccines against as many as 18 diseases available — up from just six in 2000. The organization also plans to invest at least $1.1 billion in grants that would help strengthen health systems within countries that are struggling to extend their immunization efforts. It will also invest in creating a new Ebola vaccine stockpile, and work with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to work toward eliminating polio once and for all.
Gavi highlights that vaccines don’t just save lives — they improve and benefit communities in various ways.
“An investment in Gavi not only saves lives, it also boosts economies,” Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, chair of the Gavi board and former Nigeria finance minister, said in a press release. “Children who are vaccinated are more likely to go to school. Their relatives aren’t forced to give up work to look after their sick children or fall into poverty thanks to often-debilitating health care costs.”
For the 2021-2025 period, Gavi will support the poorest countries to vaccinate an additional 300 million children, averting up to 8 million future deaths. To make this happen, we will need to secure at least US$ 7.4 billion in funding. #GenerationHealth2020#TICAD7pic.twitter.com/KyAg9ARnng— Gavi (@gavi) August 29, 2019
Data has shown that each dollar invested in vaccines results in a return of $21 — Gavi’s research indicates that its work from 2021 to 2025 will lead to economic benefits of US $80 billion to $100 billion.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals highlight 17 global goals the world must reach in order to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030. Global Goal 3 is on good health and well-being for all — the basic concept being that in order for communities to lift themselves out of poverty, they must be healthy — and vaccines will play a big part in achieving that goal.
Gavi’s investment case also points out that developing countries will be leading the charge in this next period. It will cover 41% of the total cost for vaccine programs in their own countries, amounting to $3.6 billion — the largest investment in immunization ever. It will also commit about $6.3 billion to vaccine delivery costs.
“Some of the world’s most vulnerable people are still dying from vaccine-preventable diseases; that is why we are committed to delivering Gavi’s new ambition to vaccinate 300 million more people by 2025,” UK International Development Secretary Alok Sharma said in a press release. “Next year, the UK will host Gavi’s replenishment conference, this will be a momentous opportunity for global donors to come together and realise Gavi’s ambition.”