Award given for saving millions of lives by providing sustained access to childhood vaccines around the globe

Geneva, 10 September 2019 – The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation announced today that Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance has received the prestigious 2019 Lasker~Bloomberg Public Service Award for providing sustained access to childhood vaccines in the world’s poorest countries, saving millions of lives and highlighting the power of immunisation to prevent diseases.

“It is a great honour for us to receive such a prestigious Award,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi the Vaccine Alliance. “Since its creation in 2000 at Davos, Gavi has been making it possible for the world’s most vulnerable children to receive the vaccines they need to live healthy, successful lives. Our collective work as an Alliance has prevented more than 13 million deaths in developing countries while child mortality was halved largely thanks to immunisation. I couldn’t be prouder of what we have accomplished together.”

Our collective work as an Alliance has prevented more than 13 million deaths in developing countries while child mortality was halved largely thanks to immunisation. I couldn’t be prouder of what we have accomplished together. 

Dr Seth Berkley

Gavi CEO

Gavi now helps immunise around half the world’s children through a unique public-private partnership that brings together governments, private donors, industry, civil society organisations and international organisations to deliver life-saving vaccination programmes in low-income countries. Driven by country leadership, Gavi offers vaccines at a lower cost while countries take a share of costs and build sustainable immunisation programme before transitioning out of Gavi support.

“On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of vaccinators, health workers and partners that make up our Vaccine Alliance, we are delighted to receive the Lasker~Bloomberg Public Service Award,” said Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chair of the Gavi Board. “All children – regardless of whether they are girls or boys, where they live or how poor they are – have the right to be protected against deadly diseases. However, nearly 20 million children are still missing out on a full course of the most basic vaccines, and more than 10 million do not even receive the first dose. Building on nearly two decades of steady progress, Gavi will redouble efforts in the coming years to extend immunisation services to those communities missed today.”

On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of vaccinators, health workers and partners that make up our Vaccine Alliance, we are delighted to receive the Lasker~Bloomberg Public Service Award.

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Chair of the Gavi Board

Every year since 1945, the Lasker Foundation has presented a range of awards for some of the most accomplished people and institutions involved in breakthrough biological discoveries and clinical health advances. The Lasker~Bloomberg Public Service Award honours exceptional individuals or organisations whose impact on public health or public service has enlarged the possibilities for medical research and the health sciences.

The Lasker Foundation will formally present the Public Service Award to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance at a ceremony on September 20 in New York City.

Since 2000, Gavi has supported more than 460 vaccine introductions and campaigns, providing funding for vaccine procurement and strengthening health systems. Gavi also funds the global stockpiles of cholera, yellow fever and meningitis vaccines, and supports measles response. Gavi stimulates the dissemination of new vaccines such as the Ebola vaccine that is now being used in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Gavi is funded through contributions by governments as well as Foundations and the private sector.

The Alliance recently unveiled in Japan its 2021-25 Investment Opportunity calling on donors to back plans to immunise an additional 300 million children in developing countries against deadly diseases, saving a further seven to eight million lives. The replenishment process will culminate in a special event hosted by the UK government, mid-2020.

Notes to editors

About Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership that helps vaccinate half the world’s children against some of the world’s deadliest diseases. Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has helped to immunise a whole generation – over 760 million children – and prevented more than 13 million deaths, helping to halve child mortality in 73 developing countries. Gavi also plays a key role in improving global health security by supporting health systems as well as funding global stockpiles for Ebola, cholera, meningitis and yellow fever vaccines. After two decades of progress, Gavi is now focused on protecting the next generation and reaching the unvaccinated children still being left behind, employing innovative finance and the latest technology – from drones to biometrics – to save millions more lives, prevent outbreaks before they can spread and help countries on the road to self-sufficiency. Learn more at and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Vaccine Alliance brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private sector partners. View the full list of donor governments and other leading organizations that fund Gavi’s work here.

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