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Vaccine alliance claims 1 billion routine jabs for children

Vaccine alliance claims 1 bn routine jabs for children
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The Gavi vaccine alliance said Tuesday that it had helped provide routine vaccines to over one billion children since it was established 23 years ago, saving millions of lives.

In addition, the Geneva-based organisation said in an activity report that it had provided billions more jabs during special campaigns and emergencies, not least the Covid-19 pandemic.

In total, the organisation created in 2000 to provide an array of vaccines to developing countries said it had helped provide roughly six billion vaccinations globally, protecting children and adults against 19 infectious diseases.

The public-private partnership, which brings together developing countries and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others, is particularly focused on childhood vaccines.

Its routine vaccine programme, it said, had provided immunisation to more than one billion children, helping to halve child mortality in 73 lower-income countries, and had prevented some 17 million deaths.

Looking ahead, it said it was on track to immunise 300 million children between 2021 and 2025, preventing an additional seven to eight million deaths.

Gavi highlighted the dire toll the Covid pandemic had taken on routine vaccination around the world, with a five-percentage-point drop in coverage between 2020 and 2021.

But it said preliminary data indicated a recovery of routine immunisation last year, with coverage across Gavi-implementing countries increasing by three points, helping coverage levels “return closer to their historical baseline”.

“Gavi’s goal is to continue that catch-up while also reaching the millions of ‘zero dose’ children still missing out on life-saving vaccinations,” it said.

In addition to its work on routine childhood vaccines, Gavi manages stockpiles of vaccines against cholera, yellow fever, meningococcal disease and Ebola.

The organisation also took the lead on the Covax initiative for Covid vaccines, alongside the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

The global scheme has so far shipped nearly two billion Covid vaccines, helping prevent an estimated 2.7 million deaths across 92 low-income countries, Gavi said.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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