Vaccines work

Minister Müller opens replenishment conference for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance in Berlin

School children in Tanzania waiting for a vaccination against measles and rubella.

27.01.2015 |

Berlin – On Monday (9 am), German Development Minister Gerd Müller opens the first international conference of Germany's G7 presidency. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance aims to mobilise 7.5 billion US dollars at its pledging conference today in order to give an additional 300 million children in developing countries access to immunisation.

In the late morning, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, will speak to the approximately 200 international participants, which include the Presidents from Mali and Tanzania, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Jakaya Kikwete, EU Commissioner Neven Mimica, the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, numerous Ministers from EU member states, developing countries and emerging economies and Bill Gates, Gavi's most prominent private sponsor.

German Development Minister Gerd Müller at the replenishment conference for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance in Berlin

"We are hosts to a unique initiative," says German Minister Gerd Müller. "It saves children's lives through immunisation. So far, vaccination has saved the lives of seven million children. The message behind Gavi is powerful: health should not be dependent on people's incomes. This holds for Germany and throughout the world. Thanks to Gavi, the price of a dose of pentavalent vaccine for children in Africa is two dollars, while it is 35 dollars in industrialised countries. Gavi is a living example of global social fairness. That is why I have massively increased funding for Gavi. The health of African children should not suffer for lack of funds."

The cooperation with Gavi is a good example of a well functioning global partnership. Germany has been supporting Gavi's work since 2006 and has constantly increased its contributions to the Vaccine Alliance over the years. The German government has announced that it will provide a total of 500 million euros to Gavi for the next years until 2020.

Announcement Gavi Pledging Conference

The motto of the pledging conference is "Reach Every Child". Despite the huge progress that has been made, hundreds of millions of children still do not have access to immunisation.

"The international community – we – had committed to reducing child mortality by two thirds by 2015," says Gerd Müller. "We have barely managed to half it. It is scandalous that today every year 6.3 million children die – half of them from diseases that could be treated easily or even prevented. We owe the children on this planet a major effort to close this gap. Immunisation programmes are not the only instrument available, but one of the most effective."

Gavi is currently funding programmes in 73 partner countries, both through public donors and through funds provided by foundations, companies and private donors. Partner countries have to cover part of the costs involved. At the same time they receive support for strengthening their health systems. Being one of the world's largest buyers of vaccines worldwide, the Vaccine Alliance is in a position to negotiate with pharmaceutical businesses to secure affordable prices, thus helping to constantly lower the cost of vaccines.

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