Last week, the GAVI Alliance announced the approval of a new wave of funding for lifesaving vaccines for children around the world. With resources garnered from its successful pledging conference in June (in part due to advocacy from ACTION partners), the GAVI Alliance Executive Committee reviewed and approved financing applications for 37 countries to roll out new and underused vaccines.
“Thanks to our donors and partners, the GAVI Alliance is now delivering on its promise to protect more children across the developing world against rotavirus, pneumococcal disease and other life-threatening yet preventable diseases,” said GAVI CEO Seth Berkley M.D.
This wave of applications is the first to utilize funding from pledges made last June and will finance 18 additional countries for pneumococcal vaccine roll out, and 16 for the rotavirus vaccine. As a demand-driven institution, GAVI saw the largest number of eligible country applications ever and estimates that the round will cost a little over 1 billion U.S. dollars including GAVI contributions and co-financing from recipient governments.
As a result of last week’s announcement, financing from GAVI will help immunize millions of children and protect them against some of the deadliest diseases. The WHO estimates that one child dies of a vaccine-preventable cause every 20 minutes. With GAVI’s support to introduce new lifesaving vaccines, countries can reduce this number drastically.
With new applications approved, GAVI expects roll-outs to begin in early 2012 with some occurring in 2013 to allow countries enough time to educate communities, improve cold-chain and distribution systems, and train healthcare workers. GAVI is on its way to achieve the goal of immunizing 90 million children against pneumococcal disease in 40 countries by 2015.
Read GAVI’s press release here.