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AdvocacyDecember 18, 2015

2016 Appropriations Package is a Win for Global Childhood Immunizations

I am happy to report that after many weeks of difficult negotiations, members of the House and Senate have agreed on a FY16 appropriations package that provides vital increases in funding for many of Shot@Life’s top global immunization advocacy priorities!

These priorities include increased funding for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to ensure that children in developing countries have access to essential vaccines for devastating diseases like polio, measles, rotavirus, and pneumonia. The bill increases funding for Gavi by $35 million, which will contribute to roughly 1.1 million additional children immunized and 20,000 more lives saved.

The bill also includes a $10.2 million increase for polio eradication activities. This year we have made incredible strides towards eliminating polio globally. Nigeria is now polio-free, leaving only two countries – Pakistan and Afghanistan – with sustained transmission. We are so close to eradicating this debilitating disease for good!

Here are the full details of the funding package for global immunization activities:

  • An overall funding level of $8.5 billion for global health programs, a $49.5 million increase above FY15 levels, and $322.4 million above the President’s request;
  • $228 million for global polio eradication efforts through USAID and CDC, an increase of $10.2 million over FY15;
  • $750 million for maternal and child health activities, including $235 million for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. This funding level keeps us on track to fulfill the President’s $1 billion pledge for FY2015-2018;
  • $50 million for measles elimination efforts, meeting the President’s budget request;
  • $132.5 million for UNICEF, a major UN partner of the U.S. in ending preventable child deaths in developing countries.

I want to thank members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees and Subcommittees for prioritizing life-saving global vaccine activities in the FY16 spending bill. Many difficult decisions had to be made during the budget process, and Shot@Life is tremendously grateful to Congress for strengthening U.S. investments in these programs.

I also want to thank our Shot@Life Champions for working tirelessly over the past year to show their members of Congress how passionate we are about ending preventable child deaths. Every child deserves a shot at life, and your voice had a huge impact in Congress’s decision this year to increase U.S. funding for global immunization programs.

DECEMBER 18, 2015

Devi R. Thomas