Today marks a historic moment in global immunisation. At a pledging conference hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, world leaders came together to accelerate access to vaccines in the world’s poorest countries.

Credit: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
Credit: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance called on donors to fill a gap of $7.5 billion to immunise a further 300 million children and save up to 6 million lives for the period 2016-2020. As the day draws to a close, RESULTS UK reports on the key highlights from the conference in Berlin.

  1. Gavi surpassed its funding target by raising US$ 7.539 billion for the next five years. By securing this funding, Gavi can and will deliver on its promise to immunise 300 million children during 2016-2020, and save between 5 and 6 million lives.
  1. The UK Government remain the leading donor to Gavi. With a pledge of £1 billion in new resources to Gavi, the UK is the largest donor for the next period, followed closely by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. UK funding to Gavi is helping to save a child’s life every two minutes.
  1. Many donors significantly increased their pledges from the last period. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation kick started the conference with an impressive pledge of US$1.5 billion. Other donors, such as the USA, Canada, the EC, Norway and the host Germany also stepped up to the challenge.
  1. Four new donors pledged to Gavi for the first time. As a partnership, Gavi relies on support from donors including developed country governments, philanthropic organisations and the private sector.
  1. The theme of the conference was “Reach Every Child”. While the focus of Gavi’s last period was on introducing new and underused vaccines, the next period represents a time to ensure gains made are consolidated and equity of coverage is prioritised. In the poorest communities in the world, only 16% of children receive vaccines and it is critical these inequalities are address in the next phase.
  1. Pharmaceutical companies also pledged their support through announcing vaccine price cuts and freezes. UK-based company GSK has extended its price-freeze commitment to 10 years for countries that are to ‘graduate’ from Gavi support. Pfizer announced a cut of 6% for its pneumococcal vaccine, which protects children against pneumonia, from $3.30 per dose to $3.10 per dose. The pneumococcal vaccine accounts for approximately 45% of the full vaccination package price tag and further efforts are needed to lower these prices so that they are affordable for the world’s poorest countries.
  1. Worldwide 30 doses of vaccines are given every second. Immunisation services reach more children than any other health intervention. By expanding access to vaccines, this provides a critical platform for the delivery of additional health services, including nutritional interventions, treatments for common childhood illness such as diarrhoea and health promotion.