India commits $4 million to GAVI Alliance vaccine programs

The GAVI Alliance announced on Thursday that the Government of India contributed $4 million to support child vaccination and immunization programs.

The government of India will make its contribution during four years as part of the government's 12th Five Year Plan.

GAVI said it has provided support to India for its immunization program since 2002.

India's contribution reinforces the country's commitment to immunization. The country announced in October that it would increase the five-in-one pentavalent vaccine at a national level. The vaccine contains antigens for several deadly diseases, including diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type B, in one shot.

The vaccine has been made available in eight states in India with support from GAVI. The country committed to making the pentavalent vaccine available in all its states starting this year.

With the commitment of support, India joins 21 international donors and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in working to provide immunizations to children and fight child mortality. Since 2000, the donors and the Gates Foundation have provided vaccinations for approximately 440 million children in 73 of the world's poorest countries.