GAVI Watch [to 21 June 2014]

GAVI Watch [to 21 June 2014]

:: GAVI Alliance Board approves new strategic framework to reach an additional 300 million children with vaccines
Press release: Excerpt
Geneva, 19 June 2014 – The GAVI Alliance Board today approved the strategic framework that would support a fully funded Alliance to enable developing countries to immunise an additional 300 million children between 2016 and 2020, helping to save an estimated five to six million lives.

The Alliance will consolidate the progress made over the past four years following the rapid acceleration of GAVI-supported vaccine introductions by the world’s poorest countries. This has put countries on target to immunise almost a quarter of a billion children between 2011 and 2015, saving close to four million lives.

By continuing to support new vaccine introductions, increasing coverage of vaccines introduced with Alliance support and strengthening immunisation delivery, the GAVI Alliance projects that up to 50% of children in the 73 GAVI-supported countries will be receiving all 11 vaccines recommended by the World Health Organization for universal use by 2020. This compares to less than 5% today.
With more than 20 countries expected to graduate from GAVI Alliance support by the end of 2020, the strategy has a clear focus on assisting countries to develop sustainable, self-sufficient immunisation programmes.

Donors have been asked to contribute a total of US$ 7.5 billion to ensure Alliance-supported immunisation programmes are fully funded for the 2016 to 2020 period…
…The new strategic framework will bring Alliance partners together to work towards four key goals that will ensure programmes are both effective and sustainable:
:: Accelerate equitable uptake and coverage of vaccines
:: Increase effectiveness and efficiency of immunisation delivery as an integrated part of strengthened health systems
:: Improve sustainability of national immunisation programmes
:: Shape markets for vaccines and other immunisation products.

In addition, the framework recognises the importance of addressing key strategic enablers for a successful 2016-2020 strategy: country leadership, management and coordination; resource mobilisation; advocacy; and monitoring and evaluation….


:: Hepatitis B vaccine at birth – GAVI responds to MSF
GAVI respond to Médecins Sans Frontières and civil society organisations’ open letter
Geneva, 20 June 2014 – GAVI Alliance shares recently published MSF concerns about the slow implementation of the WHO recommendation to deliver a dose of hepatitis B vaccine immediately after birth.
WHO estimates that hepatitis B causes around 260,000 deaths each year in GAVI-eligible countries, mostly in older men. Thanks to GAVI’s support for infant hepatitis B vaccination since 2000 – now included in the pentavalent vaccine and in routine use in 72 of 73 GAVI-supported countries – this number is expected to fall significantly in the future.

GAVI agrees that greater use of a birth dose of hepatitis B vaccine would be valuable in line with the WHO recommendation. Therefore, the Alliance recently re-assessed the relative value of GAVI financial support for birth dose hepatitis B vaccine as part of the new Vaccine Investment Strategy. This evaluated fifteen vaccines looking at relative value of and feasibility of GAVI support. Based on these analyses and extensive consultations, the GAVI Board decided not to pursue offering financial support for countries wishing to introduce birth dose hepatitis B vaccine. A detailed analysis is available on this page.

The key points that factored into the decision were:
:: Consultations with experts and stakeholder highlighted implementation challenges as the primary barrier to adoption, rather than price of the vaccine.
:: The cost per dose of hepB birth dose is around $0.20, which is equivalent to the minimum amount of co-financing that all GAVI-eligible countries contribute to GAVI-supported vaccines.
:: A key driver of uncertainty in estimating the impact of a possible investment in hepatitis B birth dose was the coverage that can be achieved within the narrow window of 24 hours after birth for institutional births. Many births in GAVI-eligible countries do occur outside health facilities. Indeed, coverage of hepatitis B birth dose in many countries delivering this intervention is low.

Although GAVI is not providing direct financial support for the birth dose hepatitis B vaccine, as the Investment Strategy analysis and consultations concluded that the Alliance should focus its limited resources on other high-impact vaccines, GAVI would be very pleased to discuss how we might collectively work to encourage greater use of the vaccine. GAVI would also hope that such discussions could be channelled through the CSO mechanism already established by the GAVI Board.

[Editor’s Supplement: Civil society groups call on GAVI to support birth dose vaccination for hepatitis B]
13 June 2014
Open letter: PDF download
Seventy six groups have co-signed MSF’s letter urging the GAVI Alliance to support a hepatitis B virus (HBV) birth dose vaccination. Hepatitis B affects more than 240 million people globally, causing over 600,000 deaths each year. The highest burden of HBV infection lies in low- and middle-income countries, but only 18 of 56 GAVI-eligible countries are currently delivering the HBV birth dose.
:: GAVI Alliance receives C$ 20 million from Canada to support immunisation supply chain strategy
Funding aligned with Canadian PM Harper’s initiative to improve maternal, newborn and child health
Geneva, 18 June 2014 – The GAVI Alliance has received a C$ 20 million contribution from the Canadian government to support the Alliance’s immunisation supply chain strategy that will help provide more children in the world’s poorest countries with access to life saving vaccines. The supply chain strategy was approved this week by the GAVI Alliance Board.

The funding is part of Canada’s global leadership around maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) – the country’s top development priority – with the C$ 20 million contribution (about US$ 18.5 million) budgeted through its groundbreaking Muskoka Initiative launched in 2010.

The contribution will help improve the storage, handling and stock management of vaccines funded by the GAVI Alliance, including:
:: increasing the availability of vaccines
:: building human resource capacity to manage immunisation supply chains
:: increasing the availability and use of data on vaccine stocks…