EC Pledges Nearly $340 Million Additional Vaccine Funding to Gavi

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The European Commission is pledging EUR 300 million (US$339 million) to Gavi for vaccines for infectious diseases, in addition to an earlier pledge of more than EUR 1.5 billion (US$1.7 billion) made on May 4, 2020.

On June 4, 2020, the European Commission (EC) announced that it is pledging EUR 300 million (US$339 million) to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, for the period 2021–2025 to help immunize 300 million children worldwide and finance vaccine stockpiles to be used for outbreaks of infectious diseases.

This funding will help:

  • Vaccinate 300 million children and save up to 8 million lives

  • Ensure the successful transition of some countries into self-financing

  • Leverage US$3.6 billion in national co-financing and self-funded vaccine programs

  • Deliver more than 3.2 billion doses of life-saving vaccines to 55 countries

  • Facilitate 1.4 billion contacts between families and health services through vaccination

  • Insure the world against the re-emergence of polio through routine inactivated polio vaccine programs in collaboration with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative

  • Fund vaccine stockpiles for emergency use to stop dangerous outbreaks.

The June 4 pledge was made under the assumption that the European Union's new Multiannual Financial Framework and, in particular, the Neighborhood, Development, and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) (i.e., the source of the EC’s funds pledged to Gavi) are adopted broadly along the lines proposed by the EC. On June 2, 2020, the EC proposed to increase NDICI funding for 2021–2027 to EUR 86 billion (US$97 million) in 2018 prices (EUR 96.4 billion [US$109 billion] in current prices), including EUR 10.5 billion (US$12 billion) from the new “Next Generation EU”.

The June 4 EUR 300-million pledge follows an earlier pledge the EC made at a coronavirus global response pledging event held on May 4, 2020. At that time, the EC pledged more than EUR 1.5 billion (US$1.7 billion) to Gavi, which includes EUR 488 million (US$551 million) for deploying a vaccine against coronavirus, once one is available.

“Vaccines can only save lives if everyone who needs them can access them, especially in the most vulnerable communities and regions of the world. This is why [Gavi’s] work is so important. It gives developing countries the means to build stronger health systems and immunization programs to make the world a safer place. I am glad that the European Commission can support Gavi in such a crucial endeavor. This will help us overcome this pandemic and avoid another,” said Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, in an agency press release.

“Building up immunization systems is a fundamental part of the work the EU does with partner countries and Gavi to strengthen health systems, which will be more important than ever on our road to recovery from COVID-19. Improving children's access to basic health care, notably effective and safe vaccines, was key to almost halving global child mortality between 2000 and 2017. Ensuring more vulnerable children have continued access to vaccines will be key for our collective success over the next five years,” added Jutta Urpilainen, commissioner for International Partnerships, in the press release.

Also on June 4, Gavi launched the Gavi advance market commitment for COVID-19 vaccines (Gavi Covax AMC) to incentivize vaccine manufacturers to produce sufficient quantities of eventual COVID-19 vaccines and to make them affordable for developing countries. The initial goal of the Gavi Covax AMC program is to raise $2 billion, enough for Gavi-supported countries to immunize health care workers and high-risk individuals and to create a flexible buffer of doses to be deployed where needed most.

Source: European Commission