WHO: reducing disease inequality with vaccine funding

WHO: reducing disease inequality with vaccine funding

The World Health Organization has welcomed crucial new funding for vaccines across the globe that it says will help in the fight against COVID-19, as well as reducing disease inequality.

The World Health Organization has welcomed new funding commitments at yesterday’s virtual Global Vaccine Summit, hosted by the UK Government. The Summit is Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance’s third pledging conference, and the new pledges will enable Gavi to protect the next generation by reaching an additional 300 million children with vaccines by 2025.

Saving lives with vaccines

The funding commitments will strengthen health systems as well as enabling the Gavi Alliance to better maintain immunisation in lower-income countries and help mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said: “Thanks to vaccines, hundreds of millions of deaths have been prevented. Polio has been pushed to the brink of eradication, and just in the past few years, new vaccines have become available for Ebola and malaria.

“But vaccines only realise their true power when they are deployed to protect the poorest and most vulnerable. The COVID-19 pandemic is unravelling many of the gains we have made, with vaccination campaigns for polio, cholera, measles, diphtheria, and meningitis.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how individual health depends on collective health, as well as the critical role that vaccines play in keeping the global population safe and healthy. The Summit also highlighted how important a safe, effective, and equitably accessible vaccine will be in controlling COVID-19.

Dr Tedros added: “We join Gavi in celebrating the collective success of this great Alliance. These pledges are not just an investment in the Alliance of which we are a very proud partner; they are an advance on our shared vision of a healthier, safer and fairer world.”

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