Geneva, 5 May 2020 - Six countries have pledged new funding to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to both support the vaccination of hundreds of millions of children against diseases like pneumonia, measles and polio as well as support universal access to a COVID-19 vaccine. The announcements, which also included a new funding commitment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, were made at yesterday’s Coronavirus Global Response pledging conference, hosted by the European Union.
Gavi needs at least US$ 7.4 billion for the 2021-25 period to protect 300 million children in 68 lower-income countries against deadly diseases. This funding will also ensure that the immunisation systems needed to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine are sustained through the pandemic. Gavi’s replenishment will conclude at the Global Vaccine Summit, hosted by the UK government on 4 June.
“This is a massive vote of confidence in Gavi’s mission,” said Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chair of the Gavi Board. “It underlines how much we all will need the Vaccine Alliance in the coming years, both to prevent a resurgence of diseases like polio or measles as well as to ensure the most vulnerable, wherever they live, have access to an eventual COVID-19 vaccine. Norway, Italy, Japan, Spain, Ireland, Finland and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation all deserve our deep gratitude for these commitments, as does the EU for its leadership in global health.”
As part of the EU’s Coronavirus Global Response pledging conference, the following participants made funding commitments to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, after pledging €600 million to Gavi’s 2021-25 period at the World Economic Forum in January, committed further funding to Gavi as part of a €525 million commitment to the Global Response Initiative. Australia, the Netherlands, the People’s Republic of China, South Korea and Luxembourg also committed to continue their support to Gavi and make a pledge at or before next month’s Global Vaccine Summit.
“This is absolutely vital funding, which will help us both vaccinate millions of the most vulnerable children as well as help us deliver eventual COVID-19 vaccines to the most vulnerable,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “The development of a COVID-19 vaccine is our best chance of beating this disease, which is why today’s pledging conference was so important. However, we will only defeat COVID-19 if vaccines are available to everyone, no matter where they live. Today we have set out some initial proposals for how we can make this happen, and we will now be working with our partners to turn this quickly into action.”
The pledges made at yesterday’s conference build on commitments made by several countries in recent months. Last week the UK pledged £330 million per year to Gavi for the 2021-25 period, following commitments from Germany and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, United States, Saudi Arabia, TikTok, Reed Hastings & Patty Quillin, and Alwaleed Philanthropies.
Separate to this funding, Gavi is proposing a new mechanism, a form of Advance Market Commitment (AMC), that would speed up the availability of COVID-19 vaccines by creating healthy market dynamics through incentives and investment.
Gavi published a proposal for a COVID-19 AMC in advance of today’s conference, following an article by CEO Seth Berkley in last week’s British Medical Journal. The proposed AMC would support the manufacturing and procurement of COVID-19 vaccines by: