Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, was present at the Global Vaccine Summit, hosted in London, earlier this month and it was announced during the event that national governments and other donors had raised $8.8bn (€7.7bn) to fund the organization.
The sum will be used to help protect an additional 300 million children in less economically developed countries against infectious diseases, such as measles, polio, and diphtheria.
As well as providing such vaccinations, Gavi will work on the biggest pressing issue the world faces – the global pandemic. The organization will work to aid lower-income countries manage the COVID-19 outbreak by helping to strengthen healthcare systems and potential vaccine distribution.
A target for funding had been set at $7.4bn but contributors, which included the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the UK, US, and Germany, among others, raised in excess of this. The funding will run until the end of 2025.
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said, “When COVID-19 vaccines are ready, this funding and global coordination will ensure that people all over the world will be able to access them.”
Both Gavi and the Gates Foundation have already taken steps in this direction, linking up with AstraZeneca, and its leading vaccine effort against the novel coronavirus, to secure a supply of vaccine for low- and middle-income countries.
Industry pledges support
As a public-private organization, Gavi received a fresh boost of industry funding a day prior to the London event.
In total, $70m was donated to strengthen various areas of work, including its supply chain, support for frontline health workers, digitizing immunization data, generating demand for vaccines, and financing for the development of vaccines.
The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) released a statement with five commitments its members were making to support the effort to reach 300 million more children with vaccines:
- Bring to life new vaccine solutions that save lives, protect health and prevent the spread of disease
- Reach those most in need and underserved by innovating throughout the supply chain and ensuring the availability of high-quality vaccines to meet existing and growing demand
- Support the strengthening, sustainability and resilience of national immunization services
- Prepare for public health emergencies to ensure the rapid sharing of information, the deployment of scientific expertise and the delivery of vaccines for use in outbreak responses
- Partner to share capabilities, expertise and maximize the impact of life-saving vaccines
In terms of steps for the future, Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, stated that the most important next step would be “ensuring universal access to COVID-19 vaccines.”