Surge in support for vaccine introductions in developing countries

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More than 200 high-level representatives from GAVI eligible countries attended a technical briefing given by the GAVI Alliance and the Government of Senegal at the World Health Assembly

Geneva, 22 May 2013 – Developing countries are set to make over 50 introductions of life-saving vaccines into their national immunisation programmes this year, GAVI CEO Dr Seth Berkley informed World Health Assembly representatives on Wednesday.


Left to right: Mariame Sy, First Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Senegal, Professor Dorothée Gazard, Ministry of Health for Benin, Dr Seth Berkley, GAVI CEO, Helen Evans, GAVI Deputy CEO

In a wide-ranging technical briefing on GAVI support, jointly hosted by GAV and the Government of Senegal and attended by more than 200 high-level representatives from developing countries, Dr Berkley underlined the global acceleration in the Alliance’s efforts to ensure all the world’s children have equal access to the benefits of immunisation.

This year, thanks to GAVI funding, over 600 million vaccine doses are scheduled for distribution in developing countries.


Dr. Berkley also presented GAVI’s country-tailored approach to introducing new vaccines, as well as its complementary approach to the Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan. He also explained how market-shaping activities are helping GAVI secure lower vaccine prices for eligible countries.

Participants were informed of recent changes in GAVI's health system strengthening (HSS) cash support, which is designed to help overcome barriers in the health system that stand in the way of universal access to immunisation.

“The new HSS applications will have to demonstrate a focus on immunisation outcomes and they will have to be more results driven,” said Dr Berkley, “We have also simplified our grant application and monitoring review as well as our partnerships agreement to have greater country ownership, better alignment and more transparency”.

New vaccine investment strategy

Looking ahead, Dr Berkley invited his audience to answer a questionnaire to help guide GAVI’s new vaccine investment strategy which will determine which new additional vaccines GAVI will support for countries after 2015.

“This is critical for GAVI” said Dr Seth Berkley. “It is a really important exercise as we want to better support you. Together we will demonstrate results and that a sustainable business model is possible.”

Voices on immunisation

Snapshot of what the leading voices in immunisation were saying about their experiences of rolling out new vaccines at Wednesday’s technical briefing.  

Senegal is one the GAVI eligible countries that has been really dynamic in introducing vaccines, strengthening health systems, investing in injection safety and waste management. This year we will also ask for further GAVI support with rotavirus vaccines, against one of the leading cause of diarrhoea, as well as to introduce human papillomavirus demonstration projects and measles second dose. 

Mariame Sy, First Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Senegal, on behalf of the minister of Health and GAVI Board member, Dr Awa Marie Coll Seck

Thanks to GAVI, there has been major improvement in our countries. Many of us have launched recently new vaccines and we are constantly building and strengthening our health systems. I want to thank GAVI, its CEO and staff for their support in enabling us to reach the Millennium Development goals and go beyond this target date. No child should die of vaccine preventable disease. 

Professor Dorothée Gazard, Minister of Health of Benin

The immunisation chain has never been broken in spite of the crisis the country went through. 

Côte d’Ivoire representative

Bangladesh emphasised the role of vaccines and GAVI support in ensuring it was on track to achieving MDG 4 and 5 on reducing chid mortality and on protecting mother’s health respectively. 

Tanzania shared its experience in last year's historic simultaneous introduction of two vaccines, pneumococcal and rotavirus. 

GAVI wants to work better with the countries, with you. Today is an opportunity to engage and share your challenges. 

Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of the GAVI Alliance

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