Yesterday, the European Commission is announcing a pledge of €300 million to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, for the period 2021–2025. It will help immunise 300 million children around the world and finance vaccine stockpiles to shield against outbreaks of infectious diseases.
Yesterday’s Global Vaccine Summit organised by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is an important milestone in strengthening health systems and immunisation capacities of the world’s most vulnerable countries. This is instrumental in reaching the objectives of the Coronavirus Global Response.
At the Coronavirus Global Response pledging event co-hosted by the European Commission on 4 May, more than €1.5 billion was pledged for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, including €488 million for deploying, once available, a vaccine against coronavirus.
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said, “Vaccines can only save lives if everyone who needs them can access them, especially in the most vulnerable communities and regions of the world. This is why Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance’s work is so important. It gives developing countries the means to build stronger health systems and immunisation programmes, to make the world a safer place. I am glad that the European Commission can support Gavi in such a crucial endeavour. This will help us overcome this pandemic and avoid another.”
Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainensaid, “Building up immunisation systems is a fundamental part of the work the EU does with partner countries and Gavi to strengthen health systems, which will be more important than ever on our road to recovery from COVID-19. Improving children’s access to basic health care, notably effective and safe vaccines, was key to almost halving global child mortality between 2000 and 2017. Ensuring more vulnerable children have continued access to vaccines will be key for our collective success over the next five years.”
The new Commission pledge of €300 million represents more than its total contribution to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance so far. The funding will help:
- Vaccinate 300 million children and save up to 8 million lives.
- Ensure the successful transition of some countries into self-financing.
- Leverage US$ 3.6 billion in national co-financing and self-funded vaccine programmes.
- Deliver over 3.2 billion doses of life-saving vaccines to 55 countries.
- Facilitate 1.4 billion contacts between families and health services through vaccination.
- Insure the world against the re-emergence of polio through routine inactivated polio vaccine programmes in collaboration with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
- Fund vaccine stockpiles for emergency use to stop dangerous outbreaks.
Yesterday’s pledge is made under the assumption that the EU’s new Multiannual Financial Framework and in particular the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), where the funds pledged for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, would come from, are adopted broadly along the lines proposed by the European Commission. On 2 June, the Commission proposed to increase NDICI funding for 2021-2027 to €86 billion in 2018 prices (€96.4 billion in current prices), including €10.5 billion from the new ‘Next Generation EU’.
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, is a non-profit global public-private partnership, based in Geneva. Gavi’s model is designed to leverage financial resources and expertise, bringing together governments and vaccine manufacturers in both industrialised and developing countries, key UN agencies, public health and research institutions, private sector and civil society, to save lives and protect health by increasing access to new and underused vaccines in poor countries. By August 2019, Gavi had helped avert 13 million deaths through routine immunisation for more than 760 million people as well as campaigns in 74 countries to immunise more than 960 million people.
Gavi is one of the 12 global health initiatives that have committed to working better together in the Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Wellbeing for All, launched during the High Level Event at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2019.
The Coronavirus Global Response builds on the commitment made by G20 leaders on 26 March to present a united front against the pandemic. With this in mind, on 24 April, the World Health Organization (WHO) and an initial group of health actors launched a global collaboration for the accelerated development, production and equitable global Access to COVID-19 Tools – the ACT Accelerator. Together, they issued a call to action.
The European Commission responded to this call by joining forces with global partners to host a pledging event – the Coronavirus Global Response Initiative – as of 4 May 2020.
The Coronavirus Global Response has so far raised €9.8 billion. The full list of donors and breakdown of donations are available here.