Here’s some good news: governments, philanthropists, and private sector companies committed US$8.8 billion this week to ensure Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance can immunise over 300 million children in the world’s poorest countries over the next five years! These new commitments, made at the Global Vaccine Summit hosted by the UK government, will ultimately save 8 million lives and give children a safer, healthier start to life.
This is more important now than ever. While the world is fighting to stop COVID-19, routine immunisation against other deadly diseases like measles, yellow fever, and diphtheria also must continue – we cannot have two global outbreaks on our hands. Vaccination is also one of the most cost-effective ways to strengthen health security and avoid disease outbreaks in the future.
“This is the best blueprint we have for beating diseases like COVID-19.” – Gayle Smith
As our CEO Gayle Smith aptly put it, “What makes Gavi so special is that it takes the best of humanity and weaponises it against disease – the science to create life-saving vaccines, the ingenuity to get them to every corner of the planet, and the determination to work together to protect the most vulnerable. Never has that approach felt more relevant than now – this is the best blueprint we have for beating diseases like COVID-19.”
So what’s next?
As the world races to discover a COVID-19 vaccine, Gavi and partners are working to ensure that the vaccine is available to all who need it. At the summit, Gavi launched a new tool called the Advance Market Commitment for COVID-19 Vaccines (Gavi Covax AMC). It will help companies produce higher quantities of an eventual vaccine, and increase the speed at which vaccines become available – particularly to the poorest countries around the world.
In recent months, it’s become painfully clear how critical good global health and strong health systems are to our collective ability to live safe and productive lives. The current pandemic has demonstrated what many experts have long advocated: diseases know no borders and that means none of us are safe until all of us are safe.
We need to celebrate this success and move on to the next! Because now more than ever we need to stand together as ONE World and call for a pandemic response plan that supports and protects the most vulnerable, delivers a vaccine for all, and safeguards against this happening again. Take action with us now.