In Focus: GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance
- Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private global health partnership with the goal of increasing access to immunisation in poor countries.
- The Alliance brings together countries which introduce vaccines, donors, the WHO which sets standards for vaccines, manufacturers, UNICEF which manages procurement, the World Bank which manages funds and civil society which holds others to account.
- GAVI’s approach to public health has been described as business-oriented and technology-focused, using market-oriented measures and seeking quantifiable results.
- It has been praised for being innovative, effective, and less bureaucratic than multilateral government institutions like the WHO.
- Gavi now vaccinates almost half of the world’s children, giving it tremendous power to negotiate vaccines at prices that are affordable for the poorest countries and to remove the commercial risks that previously kept manufacturers from serving them.
- Due to these market shaping efforts, the cost of fully-immunising a child with all 11 WHO-recommended childhood vaccines now costs US$ 28 in Gavi-supported countries, compared to about US$ 1,100 in the US.
GAVI and COVID-19:
- With COVID-19 now reported in almost all Gavi-eligible countries, GAVI is providing immediate funding to health systems, enabling countries to protect health care workers, perform vital surveillance and training, and purchase diagnostic tests.
- Gavi is using its unique expertise to help identify and rapidly accelerate development, production and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines so that anyone that needs them, gets them.
- Gavi is also working in partnership with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI), which has been supporting several of the COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
GAVI’s Advance Market Commitment for COVID
- Building upon its two decades of experience in accelerating the availability of billions of doses of vaccines, Gavi has proposed a new mechanism – an Advance Market Commitment (AMC) for COVID-19 vaccines.
- The new AMC will speed up availabilityof vaccines by efficiently managing the supply and demand of vaccines, with supporting incentives and financing capabilities.
- It will agree to buy large quantities of vaccines at established and equitable prices, to provide incentives to manufacturers to invest in large scale capacity.
- This in turn will increase supply availability and reduce the amount of time it takes for licenced vaccines to become available, particularly to the poorest countries around the world.
India’s contribution on the Covid front
- India also pledged $15 million to Gavi, the international vaccine alliance, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi making the announcement during the virtual Global Vaccine Summit.
- The Prime Minister said the Covid-19 pandemic, in some ways, has exposed the limitations of global cooperation and that for the first time in recent history, humankind faces a clear common enemy.
- He shared how India has played its part during this pandemic by sharing available stocks of medicines with over 120 countries, developing a common response strategy in its immediate neighbourhood and providing specific support to countries.
- He also highlighted that India’s support to Gavi is not only financial but the country’s huge demand also brings down the global price of vaccines for all.