Not many of us grow up to be World Cup footballers, but thankfully most of us are given a healthy start at life, thanks in part to the basic vaccines we received as children.
Yet incredibly, 1 in 5 children around the world today still don’t have access to those life-saving, childhood vaccines.
But we can change that fact. How? In partnership with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI for short). This amazing partnership has saved more than 6 million children’s lives and helped immunize 440 million kids since 2000. And over the next year, if it gets the funding it deserves, GAVI can save more than 5 million additional lives in the next 5 years. That’s a big goal worth cheering for.
Our new report, “Going for Goal: Immunization and the Case for GAVI,” looks at each team playing in the World Cup and offers five key recommendations for the next five years that will help make GAVI’s game plan a success. We gave this report to policymakers at a big vaccines event in Brussels last month in the hopes that they’ll follow these steps to achieve our big goal.
In short, here they are:
1. Donors must step up their support for GAVI. A number of countries each need to significantly increase their financial contributions in order for GAVI to reach its goals.
2. Countries with high levels of disease burden must increase domestic financing for health and must strengthen their immunization systems.
3. Emerging economies must ensure that all socioeconomic groups have equal access to vaccines.
4. GAVI should strengthen its own strategies to ensure that more children are reached, regardless of where they live.
5. All countries must work harder to combat vaccine-preventable outbreaks, which are not only deadly but also threaten to reverse years of investments and progress.
Ensuring that we get vaccines out to hundreds of millions of children is no easy task. It will require perseverance, coordination, skills, and teamwork—just like it takes to win a World Cup football match.
But if we can work together to ensure GAVI achieves its next big goal, saving more than five million children’s lives will be more beautiful and rewarding than any trophy imaginable. And maybe some of those children will grow up to be World Cup footballers!