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Virtual Conference, hosted by the UK
June 4, 2020
It’s great to be with you all today – albeit virtually. I want to thank the United Kingdom for hosting this summit – and for their generosity. They have been one of the world’s leading contributors to global health and development – including immunization programs – and have supported Gavi from the beginning.
I think it’s safe to say: This is not the kind of replenishment event we envisioned a few months ago. It’s more remote. But it’s also more important.
We are meeting at a unique time in history. Never have more people been more aware of the importance of vaccines.
As we race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, we must also renew our commitment to delivering every lifesaving vaccine there is to every child on earth.
That is the work that Gavi and alliance partners have been doing for 20 years. And when we come together as a global community to support Gavi replenishment, we are making sure that it can continue doing this work until no child dies from a vaccine-preventable disease.
Since its inception, Gavi has helped vaccinate more than three quarters of a billion children. It has incentivized researchers to develop vaccines for neglected diseases. It has made new vaccines widely available years before they would have been available without Gavi.
And now, it has stepped up and said it is willing to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as one is available, to end this pandemic as soon as possible.
If we didn’t already have Gavi, we would have to create it to solve this crisis.
Gavi will have to stay focused on its core work while learning how to address COVID-19. It can’t let one task slip while it concentrates on the other, because lives, and children’s futures, are at stake in both cases.
Our foundation is proud to have been a member of the Gavi alliance from the beginning. It’s the largest investment we make – and easily one of the best. We need Gavi now more than ever.
Today, we are pledging $1.6 billion dollars to help Gavi continue its work over the next five years.
In addition, the foundation is proud to support the new COVID-19 Vaccine Advance Market Commitment with a $100 million contribution to help make sure that when a COVID-19 vaccine is discovered, everyone who needs it can have access to it, starting with health care workers and other high-risk populations. I hope others will consider similar commitments in the coming weeks, including at the upcoming Global Goal: Unite for our Future event on June 27.
To all those who have pledged: Thank you for your generosity. Thank you for making sure Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance has what it needs— and that billions of people can get the good health and opportunity they need.
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