Following last week’s UK launch in parliament, today, marked by World Pneumonia Day, is the global launch of a new report on Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

The report, A Chance to Reach Every Child: how full funding for Gavi can ensure immunisation for all, was produced jointly by the ACTION partnership and Save the Children builds momentum in the run-up to Gavi’s replenishment conference in Berlin on January 27th 2015.


Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has supported more than 70 of the world’s poorest countries to immunise 440 million children, preventing 6 million deaths. This is an incredible achievement, and has played a critical role in the dramatic reduction of global under-five child deaths since 2000.

Gavi is a great example of the value of development assistance: UK aid through Gavi saves a child’s life every two minutes. Better child health has found to be crucial in improving education outcomes, and contributing to economic growth, with the end result of countries then ‘graduating’ out of development assistance from Gavi.

Last week’s launch event saw RESULTS UK and Save the Children UK joined by parliamentarians, civil society, academia and government officials. The panel of speakers included Jason Lane, Senior Health Advisor from the Global Funds Team at DFID, Professor Anthony Scott from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Rob Newman, Director for Policy and Performance at Gavi, Simon Wright from Save the Children, and Aaron Oxley from RESULTS UK.

Rob Newman spoke passionately about the commitment within this ‘incredible global partnership’ to maintaining Gavi’s exceptional standards in terms of children reached and value for money.

Professor Anthony Scott, who has spent the past 20 years in Kenya tackling infectious childhood disease, recalled how cases of pneumonia in children in his Kenyan hospital ‘fell to virtually zero after the introduction of the [pneumococcal] vaccine’.

RESULTS UK Executive Director Aaron Oxley noted the huge support for Gavi among both RESULTS UK grassroots campaigners and the wider public: ‘people get vaccines – the link between donor investment and lives saved is powerful and clear.’ Simon Wright, Head of Child Survival at Save the Children commented that it was ‘great to see health systems and sustainability at the core of Gavi’s strategy,’ given the need for improvements to be sustainable in the long-term.

The next period sees Gavi now take on a crucial challenge: reaching the one in five children who still cannot access vaccines, who are generally the hardest-to-reach, poorest and most vulnerable children. Despite the availability of an effective vaccine against pneumonia, the disease remains the leading killer of children. It is therefore vital that all children receive vaccines through existing health systems, regardless of where they are born or live, their mother’s educational status or household income level. Gavi is in a unique position to ensure all children are reached with vaccines. Through pooling the purchasing of vaccines around the world, Gavi benefits from economies of scale and works to drive down prices.

A Chance to Reach Every Child makes the case for increased donor investments in immunisation programmes to expand access to new and underused vaccines in the poorest countries, including the pneumococcal vaccine. In January 2015, Gavi will hold a replenishment conference, seeking to mobilise an additional US$ 7.5 billion to fund its 2016-2020 strategy and save 5-6 million lives. The report outlines civil societies ask within each of Gavi’s key donor markets to ensure this ambitious target is met.

At the UK parliamentary launch, we were delighted to hear DFID’s Jason Lane state that ‘Gavi really is a best buy’ and that he ‘can totally agree with our report’s recommendations’. The UK has historically been a leading supporter of Gavi, and will need to show continued leadership if full funding is to be achieved.

Beyond this, there is work to be done before next January to ensure other key donors step up. RESULTS UK’s Aaron Oxley continued: ‘Gavi has made an ambitious call to donors to fully fund this next step towards reaching every child with lifesaving vaccines. We call on current and new donors to step forward and meet the challenge to ensure no child is left behind.’

For more information on how you can get involved in RESULTS UK’s work to champion Gavi and childhood immunisation, please contact Tom Maguire at [email protected].