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6 facts you need to know about vaccines  

Did you know that vaccines are one of the most cost-effective health tools ever invented? Or that immunization is one of humanity’s greatest achievements?  

It’s pretty impressive that something as small as a needle or as simple as a few orally administered droplets could save so many lives. Ensuring everyone can access vaccines is one of the biggest ways we can fight not only preventable diseases, but also inequality and poverty.  

 Here are six facts about the power of vaccines.  

Millions of lives have been saved thanks to vaccines  

Yes, you read that right. Between 1974-2024, vaccines have saved an estimated 154 million lives. That’s over 3 million per year, or six people every minute for five decades.  

The majority of lives saved by vaccination programs were infants.  

Vaccines have been particularly lifesaving for infants 

Speaking of infants, vaccination has directly contributed to reducing infant deaths globally by 40% over the last five decades. On the continent of Africa, that figure is over 50%.  

Vaccines benefit more than global health 

Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective investments in health, but the benefits go beyond just people’s health. With every US$1 invested in immunizations, there is a return of US$54 of broader societal benefits.  

Vaccines eradicated smallpox  

Smallpox was “one of the deadliest diseases known to humans,” and has a long history. The first cases date as far back as 1350 BCE.  

There was no known cure for this highly infectious disease. But thanks to vaccines and immunization programs globally, smallpox was officially eradicated in 1980.  

One billion children have been reached with vaccinations  

Vaccination programs and partnerships, like Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, have helped reach over one billion children with vaccines between 2000-2022. That’s a whole generation of children who could become world leaders, doctors, engineers, activists, and more. That’s something to celebrate!  

You can help ensure that everyone has access to vaccines  

Now that you’re caught up on some pretty amazing facts about vaccines, the next step is ensuring that everyone has access to them. Because here’s the thing: vaccines might be a small but mighty tool, but not everyone has equal access to immunizations.  

That’s where Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance comes in. Gavi is a global organization that brings together players from the private and public sectors to ensure vaccine access for everyone, everywhere. Learn more about Gavi and how you can take action.  

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