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GAVI: The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization


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.

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GAVI is a worldwide partnership

Since immunization is a global issue, it requires a global solution. GAVI represents an historic alliance of public and private sector partners assembled into a worldwide network. These partners are: the Bill and Melinda Gates Children’s Vaccine Program, The World Health Organization (WHO) , The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) , The World Bank Group , Foundations , Developing country governments , Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) , Government – Industrialized Countries , Research and technical health institutions , Vaccine Industry – Industrialized Country , Research and technical health institutions , Vaccine Industry – Developing Country . GAVI’s Board of Directors consists of top officials from its members and is currently chaired by Dr. JW Lee, Director General of WHO.

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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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