In just a few weeks, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance will hold a global conference seeking new financial commitments from a range of partners for the next five years of its immunisation work. 

Established in 2000, Gavi was set up to ensure that, no matter where they live, all children could have access to the most important life-saving vaccines. Our efforts to secure an Australian contribution to the Gavi ‘replenishment’ (as this financial pledging event is known) has been RESULTS’ major campaign in the first half of 2020.   

So World Immunisation Week 2020 (24-30 April) was a particularly good time to talk about how #VaccinesWorkForAll – this year’s theme. The widespread immunisation of children against deadly and debilitating diseases has helped to save lives, reduce poverty and protect the world against the threat of epidemics, and is one of the best ‘good news’ stories of our times. And the current global pandemic presents a range of both opportunities and threats to the ongoing success of vaccines. 

On Tuesday, 28 April RESULTS and Global Citizen Australia joined forces to present an informational webinar for our respective advocates. The webinar, titled ‘Preventing Pandemics Through Vaccines’ covered how immunisation is connected to and being affected by COVID-19, particularly in our region, and aimed to empower participants to take a range of actions urging the Australian Government to make a pledge of $300 million to Gavi.

We were fortunate to have two great speakers who brought their expert knowledge to this webinar:

  • Dr Chris Morgan, Head of the International Development Discipline at the Burnet Institute in Melbourne, spoke about the current experience ‘on the ground’ of immunisation in our region, particularly in PNG, in the context of COVID-19 and how important Gavi is to this work.
  • Mr Sam Muller, Gavi’s Senior Country Manager, Asia-Pacific talked about the importance of Gavi’s global immunisation work, how it’s being affected by COVID-19 and the importance of Australia’s contribution to the replenishment.

A lively Q&A with the speakers followed, before the two webinar hosts shared about their organisations and work, and how individual actions can influence political decisions on Australia’s contribution to Gavi.

Global Citizen’s broad-based, online advocacy demonstrates impact and power through the numbers of people who connect with them to show their support for Gavi, and for global health equity more broadly. These actions are complemented by RESULTS’ work which focuses on building relationships with our parliamentarians; group leaders Daniel Ostrowski and Ashra Anvar took a starring role in explaining how they’ve been reaching out to and connecting with MPs and Senators in their respective states.

Global Citizen and RESULTS were pleased to have 55 people attend our webinar, all of whom (yes, 100%!) agreed afterwards that they now knew more about the importance of preventing pandemics through vaccination, and understood how they could make a difference to help save the lives of 22 million children through Gavi’s work between now and 2025. 

Despite the current global pandemic, our organisations remain resilient and persistent in our shared goal: to encourage the Prime Minister and relevant Ministers to contribute $300 million to Gavi at its June replenishment. Gavi has already outlined how its work will respond positively and proactively to COVID-19, including by making the vaccine available in all 76 countries where Gavi works. Since no country can be truly COVID-free until every country is, the work of Gavi – and our action to support the replenishment – benefits everyone!

Like Daniel and Ahsra, if you’d like to join us to help end global poverty, please contact us directly at join@results.org.au. And if you want to listen to a recording of the webinar, you’ll find it on RESULTS’ facebook page.