B S RAWAT
NEW DELHI: A global emergency stockpile of Ebola vaccines may well be available in coming years to countries for outbreak response and prevention following the approval of a new Ebola vaccine programme by the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which met this week in New Delhi, India.
Gavi will open a new funding window, with estimated investment of US$ 178 million between now and 2025 for the new Ebola vaccine programme, a statement of the Alliance said.
Gavi-supported low- and middle-income countries will be able to access the stockpile free of charge and will receive support for the operational costs of vaccination campaigns. Wealthier countries will be able to access vaccines but will be expected to self-finance, it said.
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership committed to saving children's lives and protecting people's health by increasing equitable use of vaccines in lower-income countries. The Vaccine Alliance brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private sector partners.
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chair of the Gavi Board, said,“ Today, thanks to the heroic efforts of countless patients, health workers, scientists, manufacturers, donors, partners as well as the leadership of African countries, we now have one vaccine approved for use and more on their way, as well as rapid diagnostics and several promising treatments.”
He stated, “With these tools at our disposal, the battle against Ebola can be won, and I’m proud of the role Gavi has played in this.”
Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, stated, “It will be critical for Gavi to secure enough funding for the 2021-2025 period to maintain this Ebola vaccine programme in order to protect people, health systems and economies that may be threatened by this devastating disease in the future.”