GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance has announced a donation of $30 million from Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings and his wife, Patty Quillin, and a commitment of $150 million from the government of Saudi Arabia.
The $30 million donation from Hastings and Quillin will support GAVI's efforts to keep its global immunization programs in developing countries running as health systems in those countries focus their limited resources on containing the spread of COVID-19. To that end, GAVI will leverage its own financing instruments to fast-track coronavirus vaccine development and help prepare countries to procure, deliver, and manufacture vaccines at scale.
According to GAVI, immunization campaigns against measles, polio, yellow fever, and cholera in lower-income countries have been put on hold as a result of the pandemic, while routine immunization services for young children are likely to be severely disrupted. The gift from Hastings and Quillin is the first private-sector donation to a GAVI campaign aimed at raising at least $7.4 billion to immunize three hundred million children over the next five years.
In addition to the gift from Hasting and Quillin, GAVI also announced a $150 million commitment from Saudi Arabia to fund COVID-19 response efforts in low-income countries. Part of the kingdom's $500 million package in support of global efforts to combat the pandemic, the funding will support the development and deployment of new diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines; fill gaps in international disease surveillance and coordination; and secure adequate supplies of personal protective equipment for health workers.
"Global immunization is vital to ending this terrible pandemic, and GAVI's hard-fought gains in this area will help prevent more lost lives and livelihoods," said Hastings. "We hope that our contribution will help those most in need [and] inspire other businesses, entrepreneurs, and organizations to join in this urgent effort."