ONE members at the GAVI conference last year
One year ago today, as our colleagues in London held signs about vaccines alongside Bill Gates, we were glued to our computer screens in DC, waiting for donors’ pledges to come in for GAVI. GAVI had estimated that it needed $3.7 billion in additional money to help them scale up their work and introduce new vaccines. ONE members and partners around the world had campaigned in every way possible—through tweets, through petitions, through calls—but we were in the middle of an economic crisis, so asking for anything in the realm of billions was no small feat.
I still remember what an incredible feeling it was when the word finally came in from across the pond: donors had surpassed the target, raising $4.3 billion in additional funds for GAVI. So what could possibly top that feeling? Seeing what that extra money can do.
Over the last 12 months, GAVI and its partners have achieved some big results. They now estimate that they’ve immunized 326 million children and as a result averted nearly 5.5 million child deaths since they were established. They’ve also been able to start rolling out two new vaccines to fight two of the biggest killers of kids in the developing world (pneumonia and diarrhea) in addition to their ongoing arsenal of life-saving vaccines. 6 countries have now rolled out the rotavirus vaccine, and 17 countries have rolled out the pneumococcal vaccine, up from just 4 and 3, respectively, in 2010. GAVI’s board also made the decision to expand their work into new support for rubella and cervical cancer vaccines, to help fight a leading cause of women’s disease burden and death in the developing world.
To celebrate this milestone, GAVI just released its interactive 2011 Progress Report, and it’s fit for the 21st Century—available online, for tablets, and for smartphones. Check it out in all its detailed glory here: http://gaviprogressreport.org/2011/