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Rubio, Kaine Introduce Resolution Supporting GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Tim Kaine (D-VA), members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, introduced a resolution commending the work of GAVI and its partners for their efforts to expand vaccines and immunizations to the most vulnerable, especially children, in developing countries. The resolution also reaffirms the United States’ continued support for the Alliance as an efficient and effective mechanism to advance global health security and save lives.
Additional cosponsors include Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Susan M. Collins (R-ME).
“We’re grateful to Senators Rubio and Kaine, their colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and the network of advocates across the country who are driving U.S. leadership on child health,” said Dr. Joanne Carter, Executive Director of RESULTS. “Strong U.S. support for Gavi can help support countries to immunize more than 300 million more children – helping prevent not just disease, but also poverty.”
The full text of the resolution is below:
Whereas access to vaccines and routine immunizations can protect children from deadly but preventable diseases, reduce poverty, and contribute to economic growth by enabling people to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives;
Whereas investments in the development and deployment of vaccines and immunizations can also help enhance global health security by reducing the incidence of deadly and debilitating diseases and containing the spread of infectious diseases before they become pandemic health threats;
Whereas, prior to 2000, resources for and access to vaccines for children in the developing world were declining, immunization rates were stagnant or decreasing, and nearly 10,000,000 children were dying each year before reaching their fifth birthday;
Whereas, prior to 2000, it was common for new life-saving vaccines to take up to 15 years to be introduced in the world’s least developed countries;
Whereas, in 2000, the United States Government joined forces with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization, the World Bank, other donor governments, and representatives of developing countries, faith-based organizations, civil society, and the private sector, including the vaccine industry, to create the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (now known as GAVI or GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance), a public-private partnership to expand access to new and underused vaccines, reduce the incidence of deadly and debilitating diseases, prevent epidemics, and save lives;
Whereas GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance has since supported country-led vaccine initiatives in 73 countries, enabled immunizations for more than 760,000,000 of the world’s most vulnerable children, helped avert an estimated 13,000,000 deaths, and contributed to a 70 percent reduction in the number of deaths due to vaccine-preventable diseases;
Whereas country ownership and sustainability are at the core of the GAVI model, which requires each eligible country to commit their own domestic resources to vaccination and immunization programs;
Whereas 15 countries have transitioned from GAVI support and are now self-financing their own vaccination and immunization programs, three more are expected to transition by the end of 2020, and an additional 10 countries are expected to transition by 2025 (in total, 40 percent of the original set of GAVI-eligible countries);
Whereas GAVI has transformed the market for vaccines by pooling demand from developing countries, securing predictable financing, expanding the global supplier base, enhancing the competitiveness and security of supply chains, and creating efficiencies that are expected to generate an estimated $900,000,000 in savings between 2021–2025;
Whereas, in addition to its current portfolio of vaccines, GAVI is working to support the roll-out and scale-up of newly approved vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP) boosters, hepatitis B birth dose, multivalent meningococcal, respiratory syncytia (RSV), routine oral cholera, and rabies;
Whereas GAVI also collaborates with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to bring polio vaccines into routine immunization programs, strengthen health systems, and implement additional polio protections;
Whereas GAVI has made significant progress in supporting the development and stockpiling of an effective vaccine to combat Ebola;
Whereas GAVI is participating in efforts to test and implement an effective vaccine to prevent malaria, a disease that kills more than 270,000 children a year;
Whereas, in June 2020, the United Kingdom will host GAVI’s third replenishment conference, with an ambitious goal to raise $7,400,000,000 in new donor commitments;
Whereas, with these additional resources, GAVI plans to support the immunization of 300,000,000 children against potentially fatal diseases and save an additional 7,000,000 to 8,000,000 lives between 2021 and 2025; and
Whereas the United States has been a leading supporter of GAVI since its inception, and its continued commitment will be essential to the achievement of the alliance’s goals for 2021–2025: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate—
(1) commends the work of GAVI and its partners for their efforts to expand access vaccines and immunizations for the most vulnerable men, women, and children in developing countries;
(2) affirms the continued support of the United States Government for GAVI as an efficient and effective mechanism to advance global health security and save lives by—
(A) reducing the incidence of deadly and debilitating diseases;
(B) leveraging donor, partner country, and private sector investments in health systems capable of sustainably delivering vaccines and immunizations; and
(C) reducing the cost of vaccines while promoting supply chain security and sustainability;
(3) affirms the support of the United States Government for the goal of securing a minimum of $7,400,000,000 in donor commitments for GAVI’s third replenishment, to be held in June 2020 in the United Kingdom;
(4) urges donor countries and private sector partners to step up the fight and increase their pledges for the third replenishment;
(5) urges GAVI partner countries to continue to make and meet ambitious co-financing commitments to sustain progress in ending vaccine-preventable deaths; and
(6) encourages the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in cooperation with GAVI, to continue their work to strengthen public health capacity to introduce and sustain the use of new and underused vaccines in routine immunization programs.