Gavi – Making a life saving difference in our region

Gavi will have immunised 500 million children by 2015 and aims to reach 300 million more by 2020

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance aims to immunise an additional 300 million children in the world’s poorest countries between 2016 and 2020. Achieving this goal will mean that the proportion of children fully protected with all 11 vaccines recommended for infants by the World Health Organisation will increase from less than 5% to 50%. Currently, even in Gavi’s partner countries, children are missing out on vaccines, especially the newer vaccines. One of Gavi’s aims after its January 2015 replenishment is to close the access gap – to make sure children access all the vaccinations they need. They describe it as “making the benefits of our investments today, permanent for tomorrow”.

Four messages your MP can share about Gavi and vaccines right now

1. Australia’s support for Gavi has saved lives

Australia has invested US$234m in Gavi 2006 – 2013, which is estimated to have vaccinated at least 16 million children. For every $1 invested by Australia, over $7 more has been invested in 17 countries in our region. Australia has not pledged for 2014 and 2015. Gavi’s next funding period begins in 2016, and we call on Australia to invest no less than $100m per year in Gavi at the replenishment conference in Germany, 27 January 2015.

2. Parliamentarians have seen Gavi’s impact in Laos

In early October, 7 Parliamentarians plus representatives from media and NGOs (including RESULTS) visited Laos to see Gavi’s impact. Gavi has supported Laos since 2002 with 4 vaccine programs, and the Lao government is significantly increasing its spending on health services to ensure the sustainability of these programs. Read more about the delegation on our blog and view the TV coverage from Today and Channel 9 News. Parliamentarians: Catherine King MP, Natasha Griggs MP, Matt Thistlethwaite MP, Senator Janet Rice, Russell Matheson MP, Senator James McGrath, Senator Claire Moore traveled to Laos.

3. November 12 is World Pneumonia Day and Gavi is leading the fight                            

Pneumonia is the world’s leading killer of children, accounting for nearly 1 in 5 child deaths. The most common cause of pneumonia is the pneumococcal bacterium, Streptococcus pneumonia. The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 500,000 young children die each year from pneumococcal infection, with the vast majority of these deaths occurring in developing countries. Gavi was instrumental in getting the newly developed pneumococcal vaccine from the research lab to clinics across the world. Gavi support for pneumococcal vaccine in over 50 countries, including Laos, will prevent up to 1.5 million deaths by 2020.

4. Gavi is protecting girls from cervical cancer

November 17-23 is National Cervical Cancer Awareness Week. More than 85% of global cervical cancer deaths are in low-income countries. The HPV vaccine, developed by Australian Professor Ian Frazer, protects against cervical cancer and has been included in the immunisation schedule of every developed nation. Laos was the first country in Southeast Asia to roll out the HPV vaccine thanks to Gavi and Australian aid support. Laos now has access to a sustainable supply of HPV vaccines for as low as US$4.50 per dose, down from US$13 per dose.

KEY MESSAGE

  • An investment in the health of children is an investment in our future.
  • 1.5 million children die each year of vaccine preventable diseases.
  • Since its establishment in 2000, Gavi has supported the immunisation of nearly 500 million children.
  • Gavi aims to immunise another 300 million children between 2016 and 2020.
  • Australia should invest no less than AU $100 million per year into Gavi.

TAKE ACTION NOW

Write a letter to your MP, asking them to:

  1. Speak in Parliament 24-27 November about Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
  2. Sign the Gavi parliamentary sign-on letter.

Information

Fact & Action Sheet October 2014

Immunisation and Vaccines Information Sheet

Parliamentarians’ Gavi Sign On Letter

Podcast – Fact & Action Call

Murray Proctor on the parliamentary delegation to Laos

Tools and Resources

Tips for writing to your MP