Vaccines Alliance Set to Ramp Up Its Work, Hopes to Raise $7.5B

Friday, January 23, 2015

The GAVI global vaccines alliance is seeking to raise $7.5 billion at a funding conference in Berlin next week, as its battle to prevent infectious diseases in millions of children reaches an expected peak.

The nonprofit organization, launched in Davos 15 years ago, aims to immunize another 300 million children between 2016 and 2020, saving an estimated 5 million to 6 million lives.

The economic benefits of that will be some $80 billion to $100 billion, underscoring the cost-effectiveness of vaccines as a centerpiece of public health, Chief Executive Seth Berkley told the World Economic Forum on Thursday.

Berkley said GAVI had already received extremely strong support from several governments but other major donors that have backed past funding rounds, notably the United States, have yet to show their hand ahead of the January 26-27 Berlin talks.

One factor complicating the financing request is the strength of the dollar. GAVI buys its vaccines in U.S. currency, while some donors will face higher costs in local currencies.

“We made our original requests almost seven months ago and exchange rates have dramatically changed. That is a challenge that we will have in front of us and will be discussed by the donors,’’ Berkley said.

Source: Voice of America (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
infectious diseases, philanthropy, vaccines