Written by Marco Gomes
 
Marco Gomes, Policy Advisor, Health and HIV
Centre for Health Policy and Innovation
GAVI Alliance Civil Society Constituency Steering Committee member

The vaccine world, global leaders, industry and civil society will be gathering in London in exactly 3 days 12 hours and 58 minutes: 15 seconds, to drive a new, forceful impetus to immunisation efforts in the world’s poorest countries. The power of vaccines together with bold leadership can successfully deliver real progress on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). A successful pledging conference will offer a historic opportunity to reduce child mortality, the target of MDG 4. By expanding routine immunization coverage of pentavalent vaccines, the 5-in-1 shot against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B and hib (Haeophilius influenza type b), and by the introduction of new vaccines to immunize children against pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines and the leading child killers, pneumonia and diarrhoea. A fully funded GAVI Alliance will allow GAVI to invest in immunizing 250 million children by 2015 and save four million lives.[i]

Donors must commit to making bold contributions that ensure the poorest segments of the world are given the opportunity for equitable access to the vaccines that we know provide economical benefits in the long-term and protect those in donor countries and to ensure that all countries have the required resources needed to sustain and strengthen routine immunisation infrastructure, achieve global initiative goals (i.e. polio, measles), respond to outbreaks, and introduce new vaccines. We must adopt an understanding that every child has the right to vaccines and to seeing a full, bright and healthy future, no matter how poor.

The pledging conference must reaffirm the importance of supporting developing countries to build sustainable health systems with sufficient health workers, both through GAVI’s operations and the support of other donors. GAVI’s mandate is to shape the vaccine market and that vaccines are priced at affordable costs through its procurement policies. The price of new vaccines must fall through voluntary reductions, effective purchasing and increasing competition from emerging market manufacturers.

For GAVI, the stakes are considerably immense as it approaches its upcoming pledging conference and look beyond. The pledging conference holds the promise of substantial new resources that will both reinvigorate GAVI’s work and intensify pressure for effective implementation – Now and into the Future.

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