Gavi collaborated with the Meningitis Vaccine Project to deliver an affordable vaccine in less than 10 years
Support is available for preventive campaigns and routine immunisation
MENINGITIS VACCINE PROJECT
The Meningitis Vaccine Project is a partnership between WHO and PATH. It was set up in 2001 with core funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Its mission: to develop a vaccine at a price low enough – US$ 0.40 per dose – to enable widespread use in Africa. This was to ensure that epidemics such as the 1996–97 outbreak, which caused 25,000 deaths, would never happen again.
Manufacturers in industrialised countries could not produce the vaccine at such a low price. Instead, the consortium carried out the research itself. It then contracted the Serum Institute of India in Pune to make the vaccine.
The vaccine was developed in record time, at less than one tenth of the cost of a typical new vaccine.
In 2008, the Gavi Board approved support to immunise all meningitis belt countries by 2016. With high vaccination coverage among people below 30 years of age, epidemics could be eliminated from the meningitis belt.
Gavi now also supports countries to introduce the vaccine into their routine systems. This will ensure that future generations are protected.
GAVI FUNDING SUPPORT
In the 26 countries where meningitis A is endemic, Gavi currently supports:
Countries receive support for preventive campaigns on a one-dose vaccination schedule. They also get support for injection supplies. Countries receiving support for preventive campaigns do not receive a vaccine introduction grant. Gavi provides US$ 0.65 per individual in the target population to help cover operational costs.
Introduction into the routine immunisation system
The vaccine should be introduced into the routine schedule within 1-5 years after the preventive campaign.1 This will help to prevent future outbreaks.
Gavi provides support for a one-dose meningitis A vaccination schedule and injection supplies. Countries receive a one-time vaccine introduction grant for additional introduction costs.
Mini catch-up campaigns
Gavi also supports simultaneous one-time “mini catch-up” campaigns. These target babies born between the preventive campaign and the routine introduction of the vaccine.
Meningitis emergency stockpile
Gavi contributes to an emergency stockpile to control outbreaks in the meningitis belt. The stockpile can include meningitis A as well as other serotypes, depending on the cause of the outbreak (men AC; men ACW/ACYW).
The International Coordinating Group, hosted by WHO, coordinates the meningitis emergency stockpile.
Controlled temperature chain (CTC)
Countries can get support to use a controlled temperature chain strategy in their meningitis A campaigns. WHO channels this funding.