Survey shows over 90% of Brits believe every child has a right to be vaccinated
ONE launches vaccines campaign at Royal College of Nursing Congress, Liverpool
A new survey published today reveals that 9 out of 10 British people (91 per cent) believe that every child has a right to be vaccinated, and that two-thirds of Britons (67 percent) are proud that the UK makes financial commitments to help vaccinate children in developing countries. The poll, commissioned by anti-poverty campaign group ONE, comes at a critical time as a funding shortfall threatens to stall global efforts to rollout vaccines in the world's poorest countries. ONE today will launch a campaign in a speech to the Royal College of Nursing Congress which calls on David Cameron and other world leaders to fill this funding gap and save four million lives in the next five years.
The poll conducted by Com Res, found that the majority of the public (55 percent) think that the UK Government has a moral obligation to contribute funds so that new vaccines reach children in developing countries. Over half of Britons (57 percent) think that preventing childhood disease in the developing world is the best way to spend our international aid money.
The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) needs an additional £2.3 billion to continue the rollout of under-used vaccines and ensure two new vaccines against diarrhoea and pneumonia are made available to children in the developing world. GAVI funded vaccines have already prevented 5.4 million future child deaths.ONE's campaign calls on the UK Government - which is hosting an international donor conference in June to address the funding gap - to rally world leaders and take the lead in securing funding needed to roll-out new and under-used vaccines.
Addressing the Royal College of Nursing Congress, Jamie Drummond, Executive Director of ONE, said:
"The discovery of two new vaccines presents an incredible opportunity to help save four million children. These vaccines will be useless, however, unless leaders commit the funds needed to distribute them. This is David Cameron's chance to show moral leadership in the fight against disease and extreme poverty. The Prime Minster must set an example by increasing the UK's contribution and convince Chancellor Merkel, President Sarkozy and others to step up to the plate.
"These survey results show the British public's support for vaccines. I'm at Congress to ask nurses - who experience at first hand the awful effects of childhood diseases - to carry this message forward to our Government.
"Every £10 refused is one child not vaccinated, and a life put at risk. Never before has there been an opportunity for which you can count the results so starkly in lives saved. World leaders must ask themselves how much is a child's life worth?"
Pneumonia and diarrheal disease account for an estimated 36 percent of child deaths in the world's poorest countries -more than HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis deaths in children combined. Yet our survey revealed that the British public has little awareness of this fact. 40 percent of adults believe malaria is the biggest killer of children, with only a quarter (23 percent) of Britons saying they thought it was diarrhoea and just 3 percent saying pneumonia.
Jamie Drummond said:
"Most people have never heard of pneumococcal or rotavirus, diseases that cause pneumonia and diarrhoea, but between them they kill more children than any other disease."
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) last week became one of the first countries to introduce the new pneumococcal vaccine with support from GAVI. Minister of Health Victor Makwenge Kaput comments;
"The recent introduction of the pneumococcal vaccine in DRC is a historic milestone in the improvement of the health of our children, and the reduction of child mortality. The global introduction of this vaccine could offer the perspective of a better future to all children in the world. We work together with GAVI and its partners to seize this opportunity, and save millions of additional lives. The support from donor countries like the UK, France, and other European countries will be essential if we want to continue introducing these new life-saving vaccines."
ONE is a campaign and advocacy organisation backed by more than two million members worldwide dedicated to combating extreme poverty and disease, especially in Africa. We have campaigned for donor countries to contribute their fair share to the Global Fund and other multi-lateral funds, for promises on aid to be kept, for debt relief and we also lobby for good governance and accountability. For more information go to www.one.org/about and follow us on twitter.
ComRes surveyed 2,050 members of the public online between 25th and 27th March 2011. Data were weighted to be representative demographically of all GB adults. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full data tables available at www.comres.co.uk.
Between 2011 and 2015, GAVI needs a total of US$ 6.8 billion to support immunisation plans in poor countries, nearly half of which will go toward the purchase of new vaccines for pneumococcal disease and rotavirus. $ 3.1 billion is already assured from donor governments and philanthropic groups, but there is a $3.7 billion (£2.3bn) funding gap.
The UK Government is hosting the first ever pledging conference for the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) on 13 June 2011. The event in London will seek to secure commitments from donors for an additional $3.7 billion. Further details are available on the GAVI website.
For further information contact Katherine Sladden, Media Manager, ONE, +44(0)7584 470 644 / +44(0)20 7434 7554, firstname.lastname@example.org