Vaccine group Gavi seeks $11.9 billion to immunize world’s poorest children

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The global vaccine organization Gavi is likely to seek around $11.9 billion from governments and foundations on Thursday to fund immunization efforts in the world’s poorest countries over five years, board documents reviewed by Reuters showed.

The amount will be finalized at a meeting on Thursday in Paris, where donors will make pledges for the organization’s plan for 2026-2030.

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A separately funded $1 billion scheme to boost vaccine production in Africa, the African Vaccine Manufacturing Accelerator, will also launch on Thursday.

Gavi helps low-income countries buy vaccines to protect against killer diseases. Around one billion children have been immunized as a result of Gavi’s work since 2020.

Gavi Chief Executive Sania Nishtar said the group aims to move more quickly and offer more vaccines.

This will include expanding a malaria vaccine roll-out, which began in Cameroon this year, as well as catching up on routine programs for diseases like measles, which were set back by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The global vaccine alliance wants to reach “the highest number of children, covering them against the widest number of diseases… in the shortest possible time,” Nishtar told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday, ahead of the meeting.

Nishtar said the amount in the board documents was not yet final, adding that it was a very challenging time for global health with aid budgets stretched worldwide by demands from conflicts to climate change.

“Gavi has never had to make trade-offs,” she said. “On the one hand, there is a wide portfolio of vaccines available. On the other hand, we’re looking at an environment where donors are resource constrained.”

But she said she was cautiously optimistic that the organization would raise the amount needed.

Gavi also plans to further expand its work in the coming years, for example by setting up an mpox vaccine stockpile.

It is also likely to add a dengue vaccine to its program as climate change puts more countries at risk of outbreaks.

It will also establish a “day zero” $500m pandemic response fund for quick action on major outbreaks.

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