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Vaccine ImpactMarch 26, 2019

Explaining Gavi, Part 1: The Case for Vaccines

Gavi is an international organization that was created in 2000 to improve access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, Gavi is the Vaccine Alliance, which brings together public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to vaccines for children, wherever they live.


Vaccines not only protect health but also protect people’s incomes and savings. Additionally, immunizations promote economic growth. Children who get sick less often do better at school; they attend more and achieve higher test results. Higher achievement at school leads to better employment prospects and the chance to earn more in adult life. Children who are vaccinated are protected from many childhood diseases; they get less sick, less often. As a result, their parents and caretakers spend less time nursing them through sickness. This has direct benefits in terms of ability to work inside and outside the home. People who work more can contribute more to household incomes. Less time spent caring for sick children means as much as $1 billion more available over a decade for families in low- and middle-income countries to spend or save. As fewer people need to care for sick children and more can work, communities do better economically, increasing spending and savings rates and contributing to greater national economic growth. Over this decade, lower care costs for health systems and for families could save up to $6 billion in treatment costs.

Naomi Naik