Mass yellow fever vaccine campaigns in 14 African countries have lowered risk of outbreaks by up to 82%
Yellow fever vaccine introduced in routine immunisation systems in 17 countries in Africa
Over 30 million doses from the emergency stockpile have reached Gavi-supported countries experiencing yellow fever outbreaks
Nigeria, where yellow fever is highly endemic, has introduced yellow fever vaccine into the routine system and conducted vaccination campaigns with support from Gavi. Credit: Gavi/2013/Adrian Brooks.
Yellow fever vaccine is highly effective: a single dose leads to long-term, probably even lifelong, immunity in 99% of people vaccinated.
Gavi has invested more than US$ 300 million in yellow fever control since 2001, focusing on African countries where the vast majority of yellow fever deaths occur. The Vaccine Alliance funds routine vaccine introductions, an emergency stockpile and preventive vaccination campaigns.
Gavi’s support is closely aligned with the Yellow Fever Initiative, a partnership led by WHO and UNICEF to coordinate yellow fever control at the global level.
LIFE-SAVING PREVENTIVE CAMPAIGNS
Since 2011, Gavi-supported prevention campaigns have been organised in 14 “high-risk” countries in Africa, protecting 88 million people in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, the Sudan and Togo.
In 2014 alone, over 7.8 million people were vaccinated in Africa, including a preventative mass campaign in the Democratic Republic of Congo which used over half a million doses from the emergency stockpile to avert a suspected yellow fever outbreak.
According to The Yellow Fever Initiative, these campaigns have significantly reduced the risk of yellow fever outbreaks across the region, lowering the burden of yellow fever by as much as 82% in some countries.
ROUTINE IMMUNISATION IN 17 COUNTRIES – BUT COVERAGE REMAINS LOW
Despite the success of mass campaigns, challenges remain. Although the Vaccine Alliance has helped 17 countries introduce yellow fever vaccine through routine immunisation since 2000, more than 6 of these countries reported coverage rates of less than 80% in 2014. Vaccine Alliance partners are working together to investigate the reasons for this and how best to address it.
For example, in Nigeria, where yellow fever is highly endemic, routine immunisation coverage stood at just 49% in 2014.
EMERGENCY STOCKPILE RESPONDS TO OUTBREAKS
The emergency stockpile, set up in 2003, has been successful in ensuring that adequate vaccine supply is available to respond rapidly to outbreaks. Funds for the emergency stockpile are channelled and coordinated by the Global International Coordinating Group on Vaccine Provision for Yellow Fever Control. Between 2003 and 2013, approximately 30 million doses were sent to 13 Gavi-supported countries for emergency control.
Countries can receive financial support to cover emergency vaccination campaigns that draw on the stockpile. For more details, visit: www.who.int/csr/disease/yellowfev/global_partnership/en/