Grassroots advocates play a crucial role in encouraging their lawmakers to make funding for global vaccines a priority. “The best way to get people engaged is to have person-to-person contact,” CEO of Gavi Dr. Seth Berkley said at our Champion Summit this year. “That’s a great way to convert people to understand that this is both important work, that it is cost-efficient work, and that… this is both good for development, but also to protect Americans going forward. That story coming from constituents is very powerful, and we build new champions that way.”
This year marks a critical time for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance as it prepares to host its third replenishment pledging conference in June. The goal of this pledging conference is to mobilize at least U.S. $7.4 billion in additional resources to protect the next generation with vaccines, reduce disease inequality, and to build resilient health systems around the world. Given the rapid spread of the coronavirus, having a successful Gavi replenishment has never been more important. It will be imperative for donors, implementing countries, and vaccine manufacturers to come together to invest in immunization as the foundation for future global health security.
This spring and leading up to replenishment, Gavi will be the key focus of Shot@Life’s advocacy. We know how important it is for grassroots advocates to meet with their members of Congress to stress the importance of U.S. government funding for global immunization programs. These investments in turn help Gavi assist countries with filling in critical gaps as a part of their response to COVID-19. Now more than ever, this pandemic underscores the need for robust funding for vaccine research to develop a coronavirus vaccine that is affordable and accessible to all.