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January 2005: Current Board Membership

Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization
Selected Board Member Organizational Profiles

The Bill and Melinda Gates Children’s Vaccine Program at PATH

In December 1998, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced a five-year, $100 million program designed to help speed the introduction of new and underutilized vaccines worldwide: the Bill and Melinda Gates Children’s Vaccine Program (Gates CVP). The Gates CVP focuses on increasing access to vaccines to prevent hepatitis B, Hib disease, pneumococcal disease, rotavirus, yellow fever and Japanese encephalitis. The Gates CVP believes it is a human right and moral obligation that all the world’s children should have equal and timely access to new, life-saving vaccines.

Bill and Melinda Gates chose PATH, Program for Appropriate Technology in Health, to implement their program. PATH is an independent, non-profit organization based in Seattle, Washington (USA). PATH, as the operating agency of the International Task Force on Hepatitis B Immunization, was instrumental in making hepatitis B vaccine available to millions of children worldwide. Through the Gates CVP, PATH works closely with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank and other partners to overcome barriers to vaccine introduction in the developing world. The barriers include the lack of:

  • Information about disease burden and the cost-effectiveness of vaccines to prevent those diseases
  • Advocacy for new vaccine introduction
  • Resources for procurement of vaccine, strengthening immunization infrastructure and developing new or better vaccines and vaccine delivery systems

To this end, the Gates CVP supports model programs, specific types of research, international meetings and conferences, global advocacy and communication and efforts to ensure adequate vaccine supply and financing.

Gates CVP Involvement with GAVI

The Gates CVP is a founding member of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and is an active participant on the GAVI Board, Working Group and Task Forces.

The Gates CVP, working closely with the Gates Foundation, also has been instrumental in creation of the Vaccine Fund. In late 1999, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced a generous $750 million contribution to establish the Vaccine Fund. Contributions from a variety of other donors are expected soon. The Gates CVP will administer the Vaccine Fund until separate offices and staff are in place, probably by mid-2000.

For more information about the Gates CVP, visit the website at

International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations

The mission of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations (IFPMA) is to represent, through its member associations, the international pharmaceutical and vaccine industry engaged in the research and development and quality manufacturing of innovative therapeutic and preventive medicines and vaccines. The IFPMA represents over 55 national industry associations from both developed and developing countries. Companies in membership of the IFPMA are the major global research-based pharmaceutical and vaccine companies.

The IFPMA strives to create a global environment that fosters innovation in preventing and curing diseases, and regulation that expedites approval of new chemical and biological treatments for patients and assures the availability of genuine quality of vaccines and medicines.

In the current research and development pipeline, industry has over 100 medicines and vaccines for infectious diseases, many of which are particularly relevant to the developing world. These include for diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, dengue, acute respiratory tract infections, diarrheal diseases and several others.

IFPMA’s Role in GAVI

The IFPMA is a full partner in the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI). The vaccine producers, members of IFPMA, have a long-standing legacy of working with international public health agencies to ensure the enhancement of health for children globally, through immunization.

Through the alliance, member partners will address ways to accelerate the development and introduction of new vaccines specifically needed by developing countries.

The vaccine industry members of the IFPMA will, in cooperation with their GAVI partners, work to ensure accessibility to vaccines for all the world’s children with a particular focus on the poorest people and countries.

The specific vaccine industry partners involved in GAVI are those that produce the greatest share of the global vaccine supply. They are:

  • Aventis Pasteur
  • SmithKline Beecham
  • American Home Products
  • Merck & Co., Inc.
  • Chiron Vaccines
  • BERNA Swiss Serum & Vaccine Institute Berne (representing smaller vaccine producers)

For more information about IFPMA, visit its website at

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Founded in 1946, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. UNICEF is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and strives to establish children’s rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behaviour towards children. UNICEF’s main function is to mobilise political will and material resources to help countries, particularly developing countries, ensure "first call for children" and to build their capacity to form appropriate policies and deliver services for children and their families.

UNICEF gives high priority to country programme operations. At country level, UNICEF works with other UN agencies, governments and civil society organisations to lighten children’s loads through support to community-based services in primary health care, basic education, and safe water and sanitation. For over a decade, as part of its mandate to promote child survival, UNICEF has advocated, mobilised resources and built capacity in government systems and communities to ensure that children receive basic immunization services. UNICEF, the world’s largest purchaser of vaccines for developing countries, is a key partner in global immunization efforts.

UNICEF, with world headquarters in New York and Geneva, maintains programmes in 161 countries, with 86 percent of its staff posts located in the field. Its Supply Division, based in Copenhagen, is responsible for global purchasing, including some $100 million per year spent on vaccines and safe injection equipment.

UNICEF’s role in GAVI

In the 1980’s, UNICEF was a major force behind the drive for Universal Child Immunisation, which saw 80 percent of the world’s children immunized against the six vaccine-preventable diseases. Throughout the 1990’s, UNICEF’s work in immunization was guided by the commitments made at the 1990 World Summit for Children and the principles of the Convention for the Rights of the Child. Through its long experience, UNICEF has gained expertise and skills in ensuring that immunization is on the political agenda of governments; in helping communities and families to understand the importance of preventive health and immunization, in particular; and in vaccine procurement.

UNICEF is a founding partner in the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI). Ms. Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of UNICEF, is an ex-officio member of the GAVI Board. Ms. Bellamy will chair the GAVI Board for a two-year term starting in late 2001. UNICEF chairs the GAVI Task Force on Advocacy, which is responsible for coordinating global advocacy and communications efforts of the GAVI partners. UNICEF also manages the GAVI Trust Fund, which disperses collective funds for activities approved by the GAVI Board.

For more information about UNICEF or immunization, visit

The World Bank

The World Bank’s mission is to fight poverty with passion and professionalism for lasting results. Founded in 1944, the World Bank Group consists of five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development; International Development Association, International Finance Corporation; Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency; and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. James D. Wolfensohn is the President of the World Bank, which is owned by more than 180 member countries whose views and interests are represented by a Board of Governors and a Washington-based Board of Directors.

The World Bank is the world’s largest source of development assistance, providing nearly $30 billion in loans annually to its client countries. The Bank uses its financial resources, its highly trained staff, and its extensive knowledge base to individually help each developing country onto a path of stable, sustainable, and equitable growth. The main focus is on helping the poorest people and the poorest countries, but for all its clients the Bank emphasizes the need for:

  • Investing in people, particularly through basic health and education
  • Protecting the environment
  • Supporting and encouraging private business development
  • Strengthening the ability of the governments to deliver quality services, efficiently and transparently
  • Promoting reforms to create a stable macroeconomic environment, conducive to investment and long-term planning
  • Focusing on social development, inclusion, governance, and institution-building as key elements of poverty reduction

The Bank is also helping countries to strengthen and sustain the fundamental conditions they need to attract and retain private investment.

The World Bank’s Involvement with GAVI:

The World Bank is a member of the Governing Board of GAVI and co-chairs GAVI’s Task Force on Financing. The Bank is committed to increasing its contribution to immunization through:

  • Enhancing its policy dialogue with Ministries of Finance and Ministries of Health and other partners to encourage recognition of the value of immunization and new vaccine development
  • Expanding its loans and credits in support of immunization
  • Consulting and working with public and private sector partners to create new financing options to accelerate the development of an HIV/AIDS vaccine and other priority vaccines, such as against malaria or tuberculosis

For more information about the World Bank, visit

World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) was founded in 1948. A specialized agency of the United Nations with 191 Member States, WHO promotes technical cooperation for health among nations, carries out programs to control and eradicate disease, and strives to improve the quality of human life. Its objective is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible levels of health.

WHO has four main functions:

  • To give worldwide guidance in the field of health
  • To set global standards for health
  • To cooperate with governments in strengthening national health programs
  • To develop and transfer appropriate health technology, information and standards

One of WHO’s major achievements includes the eradication of smallpox, a disease that scarred and killed millions before being officially declared eradicated in 1980. Eradication resulted in a huge reduction of human suffering and great financial savings. Other diseases, such as polio and guinea-worm, are now on the threshold of eradication, and leprosy is also being overcome. But, as well as fighting infectious disease, WHO is the leading international public health agency in efforts to improve access to and equality of health care, fight a growing worldwide burden of non-communicable diseases, deliver essential drugs and support the development of new drugs, promote healthy lifestyles and environments, and develop quantitative methods to analyse health policy options.

WHO is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland with six Regional Offices covering the globe and over 100 country offices. Its supreme decision-making body is the World Health Assembly, which meets annually.

WHO’s Role in GAVI

WHO’s Department of Vaccines and Biologicals is charged with ensuring that all people at risk should be protected against vaccine-preventable diseases. ( ). On the basis of targets established by the World Health Assembly, three major objectives have been defined for the Department: innovation, immunization systems and accelerated disease control. Within each of these broad objectives, there are priority projects with specific measurable goals. For innovation, the priority project is the accelerated introduction of new vaccines. For immunization systems, the priority project is to increase immunization safety. And for accelerated disease control, the priority is polio eradication.

WHO is a partner in the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and WHO’s Director-General, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, is currently chair of the GAVI Board. WHO also chairs the GAVI Task Force on Country Coordination, which is responsible for developing and identifying the best mechanisms for coordinating stakeholders’ activities at country level.

For more information about WHO, visit

Background materials

GAVI: Questions and Answers

Fact sheets

About GAVI

Immunization facts and figures

The impact of immunization on economic development

Vaccine-preventable diseases: an overview

About the GAVI Board Members

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