Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI)
The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) is a public-private global health partnership committed to increasing access to immunisation in the world’s poorest countries. Established in 2000, GAVI’s mission is to save lives, reduce poverty, and protect the world’s most vulnerable populations from preventable diseases through the equitable distribution of vaccines.
Background and Purpose
GAVI was founded in response to the pressing need for expanding vaccine access in low-income countries, where millions of children were dying from preventable diseases due to limited access to vaccines and healthcare infrastructure. It was initiated during the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, with the aim of leveraging partnerships between governments, international organizations, private sectors, and civil society to accelerate the development and distribution of vaccines.
GAVI’s primary objectives include:
- Expanding Immunisation Coverage: GAVI aims to increase access to vaccines in low-income countries, thereby reducing the incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases.
- Supporting Vaccine Introduction: The alliance assists countries in introducing new vaccines into their national immunisation programs, particularly those that are essential for preventing life-threatening diseases.
- Strengthening Health Systems: GAVI recognizes the importance of strong health systems to deliver vaccines effectively. It invests in improving infrastructure, training healthcare workers, and enhancing vaccine delivery systems.
- Promoting Equity: GAVI prioritizes equitable access to vaccines for all, ensuring that the most vulnerable and marginalized populations are reached.
- Fostering Innovation: The alliance supports research and development efforts to create new and improved vaccines that are more affordable and effective.
Vaccine Procurement and Funding
GAVI operates a unique financial model that relies on a combination of donor funding and co-financing from recipient countries. It helps countries access vaccines at reduced prices through pooled procurement, negotiated with vaccine manufacturers. The alliance negotiates competitive prices on behalf of its partner countries, allowing them to procure vaccines at a fraction of the market cost.
Donor funding, provided by governments, foundations, and philanthropic organizations, plays a crucial role in GAVI’s operations. These contributions are used to subsidize vaccine costs for low-income countries and support health system strengthening initiatives.
Impact and Achievements
Since its inception, GAVI has made significant strides in immunisation coverage and disease prevention. Its efforts have resulted in:
- Vaccinating millions of children against deadly diseases such as measles, pneumonia, and rotavirus.
- Contributing to the near eradication of diseases like polio and reducing the global burden of other vaccine-preventable illnesses.
- Supporting the introduction of new vaccines, such as the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to protect against cervical cancer.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, GAVI played a critical role in the COVAX initiative, which aims to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide. COVAX, co-led by GAVI, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), seeks to provide vaccines to low-income countries and facilitate a fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.