Geneva, 8 December 2022 – The Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance today approved an evolution of its current 5-year programme strategy that will see renewed focus on routine immunisation and reaching zero-dose children, new vaccine introductions, a strengthened Alliance role in outbreak and pandemic preparedness and response, alongside continued COVID-19 vaccinations in the 92 lower income countries supported by the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment. Professor José Manuel Barroso, Chair of the Board, was confirmed for a second, three-year term.
The two-day meeting, which concluded today, also approved a relaunch of the Alliance’s HPV vaccination programme. An ambitious plan to support sustainable regional vaccine manufacturing, particularly in Africa, was also adopted.
The Board also gave a green light to leverage Gavi’s decades-long experience combatting the continuum of outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics, including with the recent learnings from COVAX, for pandemic preparedness and response (PPR) – in particular working towards equitable access to outbreak and pandemic vaccines, strengthening health systems, accelerating at-risk innovative financing and supporting diversification of global vaccine manufacturing.
A decision to continue ensuring COVID-19 vaccines are accessible to the 92 AMC countries was also approved by the Board. While the current priority remains to help countries raise coverage levels and boost high risk groups, the Board also endorsed plans to start preparing now for future evolutions of the virus. While COVAX continues to have in place plans for worst case scenarios, the Board agreed, in principle, to explore integrating future COVID-19 vaccinations into Gavi’s core programming – in a bid to improve synergies, be more responsive to countries’ needs and reduce the additional burden a specialized emergency response places on countries. This approval in principle will help Gavi engage with countries and partners on what shape a future programme would take, while also remaining flexible in case of further developments in 2023.
“Never before have Gavi-supported countries administered as many vaccines as the billions of doses they did in 2021. Yet routine immunisation has been impacted hard by the pandemic for two consecutive years and it is essential that we help countries to address this. The decisions taken at this week’s meeting will help the Vaccine Alliance enter a Year of Renewal; not only its historical mission to leave no one behind with immunisation but of the Alliance itself, introducing new innovations and ways of working learned from the pandemic,” said Professor José Manuel Barroso, Chair of the Board of Gavi.
Further details on the decisions made at the Board Meeting include:
“Gavi’s mission, working together as Alliance to deliver unparalleled impact, has always been to help countries protect their populations through immunisation. As we move out of the emergency phase of the pandemic, this will mean catching up on essential and sustaining COVID-19 vaccinations, helping them plan and prepare for the increasing occurrence of outbreaks due to climate change and growing populations – and looking further ahead, putting in place a global health response that will enable us to address future pandemics and global health security threats much more effectively,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi.
In addition, a number of appointments were made or reconfirmed: