Mark Hillsdon looks at an innovative public-private partnership that has been working to improve global health outcomes since 2001 but has seen vaccination rates stall
Vaccines are widely considered one of the most powerful and cost-effective health interventions available. They were a major focus of the Millennium Development Goals, the precursor to the SDGs. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, was established in 2000 - a collaboration between the WHO, Unicef, the World Bank, individual countries and pharmaceutical companies to accelerate access to life-saving vaccines in some of the world’s poorest countries.
While Gavi has helped to immunise close to 700 million children, averting 10 million deaths, global immunisation levels have stalled, and have hovered at around the 85% level for the past three years.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) over 95 million children a year are still missing out on their basic vaccines, leaving them at risk of potentially deadly diseases such as measles, mumps, tetanus and typhoid.
How we distribute and deliver vaccines where they are most needed is one of our big questions
Aurelia Nguyen, Gavi’s managing director, vaccines and sustainability, explains that Gavi funds immunisation programmes in countries with a gross national income per head below a set threshold, currently $1,580. In 2018, 47 countries qualified.
Its innovative partnership model is based on what Nguyen calls a dual market, which allows manufacturers to sell...