Vaccines: 4 hours that will save 4 million lives

Today we passed a milestone in our No Child Born to Die campaign, and it was an overwhelming success.

Leaders from around the world gathered at a summit for the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation in London. They had to decide whether or not to fill a $3.7 billion funding gap that would provide vaccines for 250 million of the world’s poorest children. This will save 4 million children’s lives – a phenomenal achievement.

Massive success

Four hours later Andrew Mitchell, the UK’s international development secretary, announced to the world’s amassed media that GAVI, and our campaign to save 4 million lives, had smashed our target reaching a total of $4.34 billion dollars; $600 million more than the target.

UK Leadership

Prime Minister David Cameron set the pace of the summit when he announced in his opening speech, that: “In addition to our existing support for GAVI we will contribute £814 million pounds of new funding up to 2015. This will help vaccinate over 80 million children and save 1.4 million lives.”

Through the morning more and more leaders pledged hundreds of millions of dollars. On the day following his global campaign call with usBill Gates seized the moment and announced a contribution from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation of $1bn.

Saving lives

Save the Children’s chief executive Justin Forsyth responded to the great news by saying:

“By pledging more than expected, leaders have given a huge boost to the world’s poorest children.  Millions will now survive common childhood illnesses like pneumonia and diarrhoea, enabling them to grow up and fulfil their potential.

“UK leadership has been critical to this success, but as David Cameron said today, promises to the world’s poorest have to be kept.

“The hard work begins now to keep these historic commitments on track and make sure the vaccines get to the children who need them most.”

Next steps

This funding is a huge step forward.

We now need to make sure that the funding is spent as best it can be and reaches those children who need support the most.

In today’s press conference Bill Gates said that he ‘thinks of it in terms of equity’ for him it’s incredibly important that the vaccines he and other donors are paying for reach the poorest, most marginalised children in the world.

We also need to ensure that commitments at today’s conference to use GAVI mechanisms to continue to drive down vaccine prices are followed through in order that this vital work continues to get more and more effective.

(To listen to our Global Campaign Call shown above click here.)

Finally we need to make sure that the health workers; nurses, vaccine delivery people, doctors and more, are in place to get those vaccines into the children that need it most.

GAVI needs to ensure that at least $600million supports health systems including recruiting, training and retaining those health workers; because vaccines don’t inject themselves.

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Comments

  • Oscar Webuye

    This is much inspiring,most children die at early age because of lack of access to medical services very importantly vaccination.This i think will enable children from poor families to be able to get vaccinated against childhood diseases and grow up to make a difference in their communities

  • Judy Dutfield

    I, too care deeply about these children but see no evidence that vaccinations will help them. In the UK deaths from childhood diseases were in steep decline before vaccines were introduced and continued to fall at the same rate afterwards.

    Instead we now see chronic diseases in children and we desparately need an independent investigation to compare the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated children. The only comparison that can be made is between the unvaccinated Amish children in America (and in the UK and elsewhere) and vaccinated children. Among these unvaccinated, breast-fed children, autism, asthma and eczema are unknown. In the UK one in 60 is now autistic.

    The US spends more on healthcare and gives its children more vaccinations than any other country. Strange then that infant mortality in the US ranks 33rd in the world.

    The US Government still refuses to acknowledge the link between childhood illnesses and vaccines but its National Vaccines Injury Compensation Program has paid out more than 2 billion dollars in compensation to date.

    In the UK there are families fighting to get recognition and treatment for their vaccine damaged children.. They have no chance of compensation. These third world vaccinations contain mercury which the drug companies had promised to remove from vaccines in the UK. So what chance do these poorly nourished children have of remianing healthy after vaccination and what chance would their parents have of getting compensation?

    .

  • Vaccines for third world are just part of the covert depopulation agenda http://whale.to/v/biowarfare.html

  • Simon Wright

    Save the Children believes that the evidence for the effectiveness of routine vaccines is widely-shared, including by the World Health Organisation. We support vaccines that are already widely accepted as safe and effective in preventing disease. Among the many other actions needed to save lives and improve the health of children in poor countries, vaccines are an important part.

    Simon Wright, Head of Health, Save the Children

  • Save the children is very inspiring, i am a teenager actually despit of being provided food, healthcare and being fortunate i am extremely grateful for what i have, but starving children do not have alot,therefore i am grateful and this organisation inspires me and i seriously sympathise for the children and parents, i hopefully in the future will make donations .

  • Anna Watson

    Bill Gates said at the conference that he wanted to give to the poor kids what the rich kids get (vaccines.) A journalist asked if the developing World would also get a vaccines damage payment fund (like the rich kids in the UK and US). The answer was ‘no’ – that vaccines are safe and magic. The US has paid out $2 billion in the last generation. That would be half this money pledged.

  • Judy Dutfield

    Simon, please can you show me the evidence that vaccines are safe and effective. I have been looking for a long tome and never found anything convincing.

  • Marijke Roberts

    I also think that it is of great importance that we help the poor children in developing countries who die of diseases related to malnutrition and poor hygiene. I just totally fail to understand why vaccines seem to be the way to help these children. A child needs to be in good health to deal with a vaccine in the western world, as we are advised not to vaccinate when they are poorly. Are the children in for example Africa all going to be tested first to see if they have any underlying infections? Is there going to be a compensation scheme if children get even sicker from the vaccines?

    Vaccines only give immunity for several years, that is why children here need boosters every few years. Are we going to be able to give these children these boosters? Is that going to cost billions again in 4 to 5 years?

    Why can’t the money be spent to help these people help themselves, by providing access to clean water for example, and building sewage systems.

    My mind boggles, starving children need to be fed, not jabbed!

  • Mindano Iha

    Simon, what are your thoughts about herd immunity?
    We hear we should vaccinate to protect the population at large. Natural diseases normally confer immunity which lasts for a lifetime, but I understand that vaccine induced immunity normally lasts from 2 – 10 years. Boosters are then suggested and they often last for 2 years or less.

  • Suzanne

    While I commend the desire to help the developing world, I fear this is one more example of tunnel vision and slightly arrogant myopia by the West. Those of us who grew up in the developing world and have family living there know that the families strugling with high incidence of disease are those deprived of water – clean potable water, clean water for sanitation, water for crop groth and animal survival and just any old water for waste control.

    The Victorians taught us the importance nutrition and hygiene for improvements in public health. Have we really lost those lessons in the eagerness for what is looking like some popularity contest, with all our leaders jostling to be seen to be ‘good’ guys by the ultimate ‘good’ guy, Mr Gates?

    If vaccines were so benign then why did the US government describe them as ‘unavoidably unsafe’ when putting in place an immunity from litigation for the manufacturers and administering physicians? Why did it then proceed to pay out over $2 billion through its vaccine injury court?

    Where is the compensation programme in place for the developing world? Where are the post marketing monitoring programmes? Where is the assurance that infants, children and adults will be screened for conditions that are contraindicated – HPV exposure, for example? Have those Rwandans really all had titers done before receiving the 2 million HPV vaccines donated by Merck? How are you going to make sure only those under 6 months old get the Rotavirus vaccine and that they get all 3 doses before that age? What confirmation do we have that these vaccines – none of which have been tested for carcinogenicity or mutagenicity – are safe in the long term?

    First do no harm. Clean water does no harm, costs a lot less than vaccines, and keeps my aid money from the pockets of multinational pharmaceutical corporations, let alone corrupt governments. Please rethink this, Save the Children. I want to continue supporting your fantastic work but so long as you are taken in by the nonsense, I am afraid I and many others I know will begin to vote with our direct debits…

  • Shamim Rahman

    Dear Save the Children Team,
    Wonderful news about the vaccination programme. May Allah bless you for your wonderful work and effort. Hope our meagre contribution will help you in your project. All children have right to live regardless of their colour and creed.

  • Disease is nature’s way of allowing the population to adapt to changes in the environment, so that those organisms in the population that are immune to new pathogens, will then be able to bear offspring that will also likely be immune to those pathogens. This way the population adapts to new diseases as they arise. I used to breed finches of several species and I know this to be the case. The natural immunity produced through infection, if the organism survives, is often permanent or at least longer-lasting than immunity brought about by vaccination.

    Vaccines only provide temporary immunity and sometimes vaccines fail to provide even temporary immunity for some individuals. Which is why so many booster doses of vaccines are required. The National Vaccine Information Center says that infants and children are given a staggering 69 doses of 16 vaccines from birth to age 18 in America.

    I support what Judy Dutfield says in her posts. How informative that Simon Wright, Head of Health, at Save the Children, has not given her convincing evidence that vaccines are safe and effective.

    People should keep in mind that vaccination is just one idea. There are other ideas of how to combat disease without the dangers presented by vaccination. The reasons why these non-vaccine strategies are not being developed may be unethical. It is true it will not be easy to develop other strategies but I am convinced it is possible.
    Every vaccine recommended for use by government and doctors has been associated with hospitalizations, injuries and deaths. Visit http://www.nvic.org/ for more information.
    Thank you.

    William Astor
    The Finch Self-Medication Website
    http://www.astorwilliam.tripod.com/

  • Disease is nature’s way of allowing the population to adapt to biological changes in the environment, so that those organisms in the population that are immune to new pathogens, will then be able to bear offspring that will also likely be immune to those pathogens. This way the population adapts to new diseases as they arise. I used to breed finches of several species and I know this to be the case. The natural immunity produced through infection, if the organism survives, is often permanent or at least longer-lasting than immunity brought about by vaccination.

    Vaccines only provide temporary immunity and sometimes vaccines fail to provide even temporary immunity for some individuals. Which is why so many booster doses of vaccines are required. The National Vaccine Information Center says that infants and children are given a staggering 69 doses of 16 vaccines from birth to age 18 in America.

    I support what Judy Dutfield says in her posts. I hope that Simon Wright, Head of Health, at Save the Children, will be able to give her convincing evidence that vaccines are safe and effective.

    People should keep in mind that vaccination is just one idea. There are other ideas of how to combat disease without the dangers presented by vaccination. The reasons why these non-vaccine strategies are not being developed may be unethical. It is true it will not be easy to develop these strategies but I am convinced it is possible.
    Every vaccine recommended for use by government and doctors has been associated with hospitalizations, injuries and deaths. Visit http://www.nvic.org/ for more information.
    Thank you.

    William Astor
    The Finch Self-Medication Website
    http://www.astorwilliam.tripod.com/

  • Simon Wright

    I recognise that there are some strong dissenting views about vaccination and respect people’s right to express them. I am not a vaccines researcher and do not intend to get into debate about them. I know I would not be able to convince some of the people who have commented here anyway. As I said earlier, there is overwhelming support for vaccination from WHO, from health ministries, from multilateral agencies. Each vacce should be discussed on its merits and each has its own evidence base of effectiveness.

    Some of the research is available from the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation (SAGE) that is convened by the World Health Organisation. http://www.who.int/immunization/sage/en/

    Best wishes to all

    Simon

    P.S. Herd immunity is when even those not vaccinated benefit when a large proportion of people are vaccinated. And some vaccines need boosters and some don’t.