The Geneva-based GAVI Alliance has announced that it will commit up to $300 million in support of large-scale Ebola vaccination efforts as soon as a safe, effective vaccine is recommended for use by the World Health Organization.
The funds will be used to procure up to twelve million courses of WHO-recommended vaccines to immunize at-risk populations. Although no Ebola vaccine has been approved to date, two manufacturers are testing candidate vaccines in clinical human trials, while other manufacturers are set to begin trials shortly. The alliance also plans to provide $45 million to help countries roll out immunization efforts — including support for health worker training, social mobilization, surveillance, and, if needed, improvements to cold storage facilities — and another $45 million to rebuild devastated public health systems and restore immunization services for all vaccines.
Funding from the GAVI Alliance also could be used to create stockpiles of first- and second-generation Ebola vaccines that can be readily accessed in the case of future outbreaks. The alliance already funds similar stockpiles of vaccines for yellow fever, meningitis A, and cholera.
"The Ebola outbreak reminds us of the critical importance of vaccines in fighting infectious diseases," said GAVI Alliance CEO Seth Berkley. "The board's decision underlines GAVI’s commitment to support 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."