Why Global Citizens Should Care
Vaccines are a crucial tool for achieving the United Nations’ Global Goal 3 for good health and well-being for all. Good health for all is at the very foundation of all of the Global Goals, and the mission to end extreme poverty. If a child is sick, they cannot attend school (Goal 4); without an education, they cannot secure a good job and income (Goals 8 and 10), which furthers the cycle of poverty (Goal1), and affects entire communities. Join Global Citizen and take action here to help ensure everyone has access to health care.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, will hold its third pledging conference on June 4 in the effort to mobilize at least $7.4 billion in additional funding to protect the next generation with vaccines, reduce disease inequality, and create a healthier, safer, and more prosperous world.

Hosted by the UK government, the funding secured at the Gavi replenishment conference will help roll out the most comprehensive package of vaccines in the organization’s history — aiming to provide protection against up to 18 diseases, and to identify and overcome barriers to immunization for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

Improved access to vaccines has changed the lives of millions of people around the world. Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has protected a whole generation of children — 760 million — from infectious diseases.

If the financial ask is met, Gavi will be able to reach another 300 million people with life-saving vaccines — preventing 7-8 million future deaths, and delivering more than $80-100 billion in economic benefits. 

Bringing together private and public sector global leaders, this week’s pledging event will raise funds crucial to ensuring that any and all vaccines remain affordable, can be stockpiled, and are distributed in a way that's equal and fair.

This will significantly contribute to the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development (SDGs), specifically, Global Goal 3 to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all.

Marginalized communities without access to vaccinations are home to most of the world’s “zero-dose” children — essentially children who have no access to any vaccines — two-thirds of whom live below the poverty line.

Almost 20 million children miss out on the basic vaccinations every year. These communities are also less likely to have access to other basic health services and information.

Childhood vaccination offers one of the simplest and most cost-effective solutions to disease prevention and global health security, and by including families in the routine health care system, immunization can act as a gateway to other essential health services.

Children who are vaccinated are also more likely to go to school. Because of this, their relatives aren’t forced to give up work to look after their children when they become unwell, and can avoid falling into poverty due to debilitating health care costs.

An outbreak anywhere is a risk everywhere. By increasing the focus on the world’s most marginalized and vulnerable people — those who are still missing out on essential preventative health interventions — we can more effectively reduce the risks posed to everyone.

What you can do to help

Global Citizens have already helped deliver millions of vaccines to the world's most marginalized communities.

We are now asking Global Citizens to join our Defeat Disease Together campaign by showing critical support for the Gavi replenishment, by calling on world leaders to make commitments to Gavi to help defeat disease inequality, and protect every child's future.

So far, 140,880 Global Citizens have taken 351,000 actions to support the Defeat Disease Together campaign in the past year. Canada, the UK, Germany, Norway, and other countries have all made commitments to Gavi since our campaign began.

On May 4, the European Union launched a global pledging marathon, raising €7.4 billion in support of the Coronavirus Global Response initiative. Many global leaders stressed the importance of creating a vaccine that will be available and affordable for all, regardless of where and how it is developed.

According to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization: "The ultimate measure of success will not be how fast we can develop tools — it will be how equally we can distribute them." 

World leaders must again unite to support the Gavi replenishment this week, to protect against current and future pandemics, to support global health care, defeat disease inequality, and protect the world’s future.

Prevention is the best medicine and we all stand to gain from equitable global health. We are increasingly interconnected and all have a stake in global health security.


Defeat Poverty

This Summit Aims to Raise $7.4 Billion for Vaccine Development and Global Immunization

By Camille May