FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

Gavi aims to spend $300 million on Ebola vaccines for ravaged countries

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, said recently it plans to purchase and distribute millions of doses of an Ebola vaccine to support large-scale efforts in affected countries as soon as an effective vaccine is approved by the World Health Organization.

The Gavi Board's plans could lead to $300 million committed to buying vaccines and transporting them to affected countries. The group said the money will come from a combination of existing and new sources of funds; it also will join forces with other initiatives that already have pledged funding to help with the Ebola crisis.

“The Ebola outbreak reminds us of the critical importance of vaccines in fighting infectious diseases,” Gavi CEO Dr. Seth Berkley said. “The board’s decision underlines Gavi’s commitment to supporting the people of the Ebola-affected countries by ensuring that they will have access to a WHO-recommended vaccine as soon as one is approved and available from manufacturers.”

An additional $90 million also may be procured by Gavi to distribute vaccines, rebuild compromised health systems and restore immunization services for all vaccines in Ebola-stricken countries.

“Gavi has a responsibility to those in need,” Gavi board Chairman Dagfinn Høybråten said. “The Ebola outbreak, and its tragic effect on countries where we have been working for years, has tested Gavi’s ability to respond quickly to an urgent need, and I am proud of the decision taken by the board. We are making determined efforts to ensure that people living in Ebola-affected countries are protected as soon as possible and do not have to face another terrible outbreak in the future.”

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