Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) was set up as a Global Health Partnership in 2000 with the goal of creating equal access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries. In particular, GAVI aims at accelerating access to vaccines, strengthening countries’ health and immunization systems, and introducing innovative new immunization technology. Since GAVI’s inception, it has subsequently supported the immunization of an additional 326 million children and prevented a potential 5.5 million deaths.
WHO is one of four permanent members of the Gavi Board and alternate Chair (with UNICEF) of GAVI’s Executive Committee. WHO further supports GAVI’s activities by facilitating vaccine related research and development, standards setting and regulating vaccine quality. It further develops evidence-based policy options to guide vaccine use and maximise country access. GAVI further benefits from WHO input on issues ranging from cold chain and vaccine management, to training and post-introduction analysis of vaccines.
The Regional Office for Europe and the WHO country offices support the coordination of GAVI activities in countries in the European Region. WHO offices assist country health authorities in drafting applications for Gavi support and drawing up a plan of action for introducing vaccines. In addition, the WHO/Europe provides technical support to implementing immunisation programmes, including storage and logistics, as well as undertaking monitoring and evaluation measures.
A core element of GAVI’s current development model is to work together with countries in scaling up domestically funded immunization efforts. As countries develop economically, GAVI requires them to take on more of the costs until they ‘transition’ fully out of GAVI support. Countries eligible to apply for GAVI support in 2016 include Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.