In 2011, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) has set a goal of allowing an additional 250 million children to get vaccinated against lethal diseases by 2015 and to prevent at least 4 million deaths at the same time. Together with partners such as the World Health Organization, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and UNICEF, GAVI has committed USD $7.4 billion dollars toward the cause.
In just the past twenty years, immunization has halved child mortality from twelve million deaths in 1990 to six million, but the lack of immunization in developing countries is still far too prevalent. GAVI’s chief executive, Dr. Seth Berkley, has commented on the immunization shortage by saying that the alliance’s intent is to keep immunization coverage for the world’s poorest children at no more than 20 percent lower than for some of the richest families. This way, the inequality gap is to be reduced, providing all parts of the world with vaccination.
In order to further reach the least privileged of the population, GAVI has prevailed in reducing the price of the essential three-part vaccine, Pentavalent, Pneumococcal, and Rotavirus, from $35 in 2010 to $23 in 2012.
Today, no reason remains for why children should continue to die from preventable diseases at all. Where the cure exists, it should be administered. The goal of preventing an extra four million children from death in 2015 is noble; however, it is not ultimate. Many of the infant fatalities occurring every day in developing countries could be prevented if medicine were made easily available to them. Although vaccine research is being largely funded by non-profit and private organizations, the next step, it seems, is to fund the very implementing of such. The realization of current vaccine research would, in effect, secure a future even for those unable to pay for their own vaccines, and provide a safe and stable means of immunizing young children against persist diseases that take thousands of innocent lives. Less business, more humanitarian effort, and it seems as though GAVI has finally slowly adopted this motto.
– Natalia Isaeva