The board of a global public-private health partnership announced Wednesday (June 12) additional funding for the prevention and control of measles outbreaks in developing countries.
The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization will be providing up to $107 million to six high-risk countries: Afghanistan, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Pakistan. An additional $55 million will be coursed through the Measles & Rubella Initiative.
The decision comes exactly on the anniversary of a U.K.-hosted vaccine summit where donors pledged $4.3 billion to GAVI for the years 2011-2015. At least 80 percent of pledges have been translated into signed agreements, and all donor contributions for 2011 have been disbursed, according to a Save the Children report.
The report, titled “One Year on: Delivering on the Promise of Vaccines for All,” hails progress made over the past year. But it also highlights areas GAVI should continue working on, such as increasing support for health systems, closing immunization gaps and securing lower vaccine prices.
Several pharmaceutical companies have already committed to reducing the cost of vaccines. In the lead up to last year’s summit, for example, Merck & Co. said it will offer human papillomavirus, or HPV, vaccines to GAVI at a discounted rate of $5 per dose. GAVI, according to the report, needs to ensure these translate to “firm commitments.”
As for donors, the report urges them to turn remaining pledges into signed agreements and to disburse promised funds “in a timely manner.” It also calls on the private sector to step up commitments to GAVI’s matching fund — a U.K Department for International Development and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation joint initiative to match contributions from the private sector to GAVI. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ $1.5 million donation made June 12, for instance, will be doubled under the initiative.
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