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How Gavi Has Protected Over a Billion Lives With Vaccines

Ahead of Raising Generation ImmUnity, the upcoming summit led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, we are spotlighting their model and impact.  


What is Gavi?

Shot@Life works with Gavi to expand access to vaccines around the world for diseases including measles, polio, pneumonia, diarrheal disease, yellow fever, malaria, and HPV. Gavi is a global health partnership that aims to increase vaccine access for children in the world’s poorest countries. It was created in 2000 as a collaboration between public and private sector organizations, including national governments, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the World Bank, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

How Gavi Works  

Gavi operates on a co-financing model which is designed to make vaccines accessible to more countries. Gavi drives down the cost of vaccines by pooling country contributions and donor funds to purchase them in bulk. Recipient countries gradually take on the cost as their incomes rise. Gavi remains focused on equity to ensure people in even the most disadvantaged communities have access to lifesaving vaccines. 

New Developments

Gavi works to drive vaccine innovation forward, as seen with vaccine patches, which would change the future of vaccines and global health. By replacing traditional syringes, they could help overcome numerous barriers to vaccine access. They would be painless, easier to administer, and could reach areas that do not have reliable electricity or refrigeration for storage. Vaccine patches would be especially helpful in low-income settings or during a pandemic. The Gavi-led Vaccine Innovation Prioritization Strategy has named vaccine patches the highest priority innovation to improve vaccine coverage and has developed an end-to-end strategy to speed up their rollout.  

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the urgent need to diversify global vaccine manufacturing in places like Africa. Gavi is working to support the African Union’s agenda to develop, produce, and supply more than 60% of the vaccine doses required on the continent by 2040. As the world’s largest funder of vaccines for lower-income countries, Gavi has committed to making this goal a reality.  

Maintaining vaccination progress from the past 20 years is becoming increasingly difficult due to challenges such as climate change, conflict, fragility, and food insecurity. But Gavi is still on track to meet its goal of vaccinating 300 million children by 2025, which will bring the total number of children vaccinated with Gavi support to more than 1.1 billion, with at least 22 million lives saved. Despite disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gavi reports there were more vaccines administered in lower-income countries in 2021 than any other time in history. 

Gavi’s Upcoming Global Vaccine Impact Conference 

The Raising Generation ImmUnity, the Global Vaccine Impact Conference will be held in Madrid this June with the goal to get people talking about the importance of vaccination and how collaboration can help make a big difference. It will be the first in-person conference since the pandemic began and will take stock of the progress Gavi has made so far and what can be done to protect even more people from infectious diseases. There will be a deeper dive into the state of vaccination in poor and middle-income countries and any issues they are facing.  

By 2025, Gavi plans to:  

  • Vaccinate more than 300 million children, which will save almost 8 million lives;  
  • Distribute more than 3.2 billion vaccine doses to 55 countries;  
  • Boost the economies of these countries by between $80 to $100 billion; and  
  • Contribute $3.6 billion towards the cost of these vaccines. 

“Leveraging our learnings from a historic global response, we are moving forward with a bold strategy to continue to grow routine immunization, introduce new vaccines, and reach more zero-dose children. I am delighted to be working with Spain to convene leaders from across global health as we reflect on this work and consider new ways to save lives through immunization,” said Professor José Manuel Barroso, Chair of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. 

As Gavi works to make its 2025 strategy a reality, Shot@Life looks forward to continuing our support to ensure people around the world, especially all children, have access to vaccines and a shot at a healthy and happy life.

Maya Punjwani

Maya Punjwani is the former communications associate for the Shot@Life campaign.