The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced a five-year, $1.6 billion commitment to GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance in support of efforts to deliver lifesaving vaccines to the world's poorest countries.
Announced at the Global Vaccine Summit 2020 in London, the commitment is included in the $8.8 billion pledged at the summit in support of GAVI's efforts to reach an additional three hundred million children in vulnerable communities and save eight million lives by 2025. In addition to supporting the continuation of routine immunization services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization is positioning itself to play a more significant role in efforts to end the pandemic, leveraging its two decades of experience in vaccine delivery to deploy potential COVID-19 vaccines to low-income countries when and as they become available.
The Gates Foundation also pledged $50 million in support of GAVI's newly launched COVID-19 Vaccine Advance Market Commitment, a financing instrument designed to incentivize vaccine manufacturers to produce sufficient quantities of eventual COVID-19 vaccines and enable GAVI to purchase them for delivery in lower-income countries. The commitment is in addition to the $50 million pledged by the foundation at the Coronavirus Global Response Summit in May.
"As we enter one of the toughest periods in our history, with the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting vaccine programs across the globe and causing huge economic damage, this pledge will play a vital role in supporting countries' efforts to prevent the resurgence of other deadly, vaccine-preventable diseases." said GAVI board chair Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
"To beat the COVID-19 pandemic, the world needs more than breakthrough science. It needs breakthrough generosity. And that's what we're seeing today as leaders across the public and private sectors are stepping up to support GAVI," said Gates Foundation co-chair Bill Gates. "When COVID-19 vaccines are ready, this funding and global coordination will ensure that people all over the world will be able to access them."