Vaccines could save more than 23 million lives by 2020

Life-saving vaccines against diseases like rotavirus and hepatitis B could avert more than 23 million deaths by 2020, according to a study by the GAVI Alliance recently published in Vaccine.

The new analysis predicts that between 2011 and 2020, vaccines against Japanese encephalitis, meningitis A, yellow fever, rubella, rotavirus, pneumonia, Haemophilus influenza type B and hepatitis B will save more than 23 million lives. The study did not include multiple vaccines already widely in use, which could mean than even more lives would be saved by 2020.

By 2020, almost all GAVI-supported countries with endemic diseases are projected to have introduced vaccines against the eight diseases, with three-quarters of the countries planning to introduce human papillomavirus vaccines by that time. The study estimates the vaccines will prevent 9.9 million future deaths and a further 13.4 million deaths prevented from routine and supplementary measles vaccinations.

The study appeared in the Decade of Vaccine supplement of Vaccine. It was supported by GAVI and featured a foreword written by Seth Berkley, the CEO of GAVI, Margaret Chan, the director-general of the World Health Organization, Christopher Elias, the president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Development, Anthony Lake, the executive director at UNICEF, Anthony Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, and Joy Phumaphi, the executive secretary of African Leaders Malaria Alliance.