Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership formed in 2000. It ensures that more children can access the vaccines they need to stay healthy.
Why is Gavi important?
Since its founding, Gavi has supported the immunisation of 700 million children and has saved more than 10 million lives. Right now, Gavi works in more than 70 of the world’s poorest countries. It provides support for 13 life-saving vaccines that fight many common and deadly infections. Thanks to the work of Gavi, children are protected against diseases like pneumonia, measles, yellow fever, polio, and cholera.
How does Gavi deliver such incredible results?
Gavi has been able to save over 10 million lives through a three-pronged approach that
- finances the purchase of vaccines,
- provides financial support to strengthen countries’ own immunisation programmes and broader health systems, and
- shapes vaccine markets to increase supply and reduce prices.
These three approaches help to create a sustainable immunisation programme within each of the Gavi countries.
What are the main challenges to vaccination campaigns?
Vaccine hesitancy — as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) — is the delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccines despite the availability of vaccination services. According to the WHO, it’s one of the top ten health threats to the world in 2019.
In European and North American countries, those most vocal about their hesitancy to adopt vaccines are referred to as “anti-vaxxers.” Typically, this term refers to people that do not want to vaccinate themselves or their children even though the vaccines are safe and effective. As a result, vaccine-preventable diseases like measles are resurging in the U.S., Europe, and other places where the disease had previously been eliminated.
An ever growing number of people in African countries are also delaying or refusing vaccines for themselves or their children. Much of this hesitancy is borne out of a lack of trust in government, the health-care delivery system, and the vaccine industry as well as misinformation surrounding common side effects after immunisation.
Without adequate levels of vaccination, communities across Europe, North America and Africa are more susceptible to infectious diseases and can result in disease outbreaks.
Simply put, under-immunisation anywhere can have implications everywhere.