WHO welcomes funding commitments made at today’s Global Vaccine Summit, hosted virtually by the UK government. The Summit is Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance’s third pledging conference and follows the successful Berlin summit in January 2015.
The new pledges will enable Gavi to protect the next generation and reduce disease inequality by reaching an additional 300 million children with vaccines by 2025.
“Thanks to vaccines, hundreds of millions of deaths have been prevented. Polio has been pushed to the brink of eradication, and just in the past few years new vaccines have become available for Ebola and malaria,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
“But vaccines only realize their true power when they are deployed to protect the poorest and most vulnerable. The COVID-19 pandemic is unravelling many of the gains we have made, with vaccination campaigns for polio, cholera, measles, diphtheria, and meningitis.”
The bold funding commitments mean that the Gavi Alliance will be better able to maintain immunization in lower-income countries, mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. They will also help strengthen health systems.
The backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic is a sobering reminder of how much individual health depends on collective health and the critical role that vaccines play in keeping the global population safe and healthy. The Summit also highlighted how important a safe, effective and equitably accessible vaccine will be in controlling COVID-19.
The Global Vaccine Summit marks 20 years since Gavi was founded. Dr Tedros added: “We join Gavi in celebrating the collective success of this great Alliance. These pledges are not just an investment in the Alliance of which we are a very proud partner; they are an advance on our shared vision of a healthier, safer and fairer world.”