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What is GAVI?

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For more than a century, scientists and public health leaders have known that preventing infectious diseases is the most efficient form of health intervention. During the twentieth century, medical research led to the development of vaccines that prevent a number of crippling, often fatal, childhood diseases. However, as a new century begins, the world falls short of realizing the full benefit of childhood immunization. The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) was formed in 1999 with the mission of ensuring that every child in the world will be protected against vaccine-preventable diseases. GAVI exists as a mechanism for coordinating and revitalizing immunization programs at international, regional and national levels.

At present, immunization programs appear to save up to 3 million lives annually worldwide. However, almost 3 million people still die annually from diseases that could be prevented with currently available vaccines.

Children in the poorest countries are the least protected, and the gap between the vaccines readily available to them and those available to children in the industrialized world is growing. GAVI is committed to closing this gap through a global network of international development organizations, multilateral development banks, philanthropic organizations, private sector leaders and other parties focused on re-energizing the world’s commitment to vaccines and immunization.

By significantly expanding the reach and effectiveness of immunization programs country by country, the GAVI partners hope to help decrease the burden of disease globally. GAVI reaffirms that immunization is a cornerstone for health, a key component of the broader framework of economic development and poverty reduction, and an essential step to protecting children’s health and allowing each child to reach his or her greatest physical and intellectual potential.

Additional materials



Why do we need a renewed global effort for immunization?

GAVI brochure (PDF file – 339kb approx.)

Download Adobe Acrobat (Required to read PDF documents)


GAVI introductory video

Videocast of the launch of the GAVI Children’s Challenge at the World Economic Forum, 31 January 2000


2nd Partners' Meeting, Dakar (November 2002)

You will need RealPlayer installed to view these videos. If you haven't already, you can download it for free here.

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