Financial challenges of immunization: a look at GAVI
Miloud Kaddar, Patrick Lydon, & Ruth Levine
Securing reliable and adequate public funding for prevention services, even those that are considered highly cost effective, often presents a challenge. This has certainly been the case with childhood immunizations in developing countries. Although the traditional childhood vaccines cost relatively little, funding in poor countries is often at risk and subject to the political whims of donors and national governments. With the introduction of newer and more costly vaccines made possible under the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), the future financial challenges have become even greater. Experience so far suggests that choosing to introduce new combination vaccines can significantly increase the costs of national immunization programmes. With this experience comes a growing concern about their affordability in the medium term and long term and a realization that, for many countries, shared financial responsibility between national governments and international donors may initially be required. This article focuses on how GAVI is addressing the challenge of sustaining adequate and reliable funding for immunizations in the poorest countries.