The GAVI Alliance said on Wednesday that it is completing plans to drive increased access to vaccines and generate a greater impact of immunization programs in communities in recognition of World Immunization Week.
Five African countries are preparing to celebrate the week by introducing new vaccines. Angola, Madagascar and the Republic of Congo will introduce rotavirus vaccine to protect children against severe diarrhea and Tanzania will begin a demonstration of a human papillomavirus vaccine to protect girls from cervical cancer. Togo has plans to launch both the rotavirus and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines.
In support of the vaccine rollouts, the GAVI Alliance will introduce plans of support for immunization programs through 2020 in the poorest countries across the globe.
“We are on the eve of a unprecedented expansion of vaccination programs,” GAVI Alliance Chairman Dagfinn Høybråten said. “Since 2000, GAVI Alliance partners have vaccinated an additional 440 million children, saving six million lives. In Brussels, we will present an historical opportunity to go even further and secure a healthy future for a generation of vaccinated children in developing countries, a generation that hold the keys to their countries’ futures.”
More than 22 million children die annually because they do not have access to basic immunization programs. The GAVI Alliance is dedicated to supporting vaccine programs, and helped introduce 93 new vaccines between 2011 and 2013.
The GAVI Alliance plans to support 50 new vaccine introductions in 2014.