Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance: Working Together to Save Lives. SUMMARY: The case is about Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, a global public-private partnership that harnesses the power of partnerships to help vaccinate half the world’s children against some of the world’s deadliest diseases. It looks at the challenges before Gavi CEO Seth Berkley (Berkley) as he juggles with the objectives of providing COVID-19 vaccines to millions of people in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), while also ensuring that millions of children continue to have access to the regular lifesaving vaccines amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gavi was founded to address declining coverage rates of vaccination and the huge disparity in access to vaccines between the rich countries and the world’s poorest ones. It brings together the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, developing country and donor governments, research and technical agencies, civil society organizations, and other private philanthropists to achieve its mission. Gavi also plays a key role in strengthening global health security by supporting health systems as well as funding global stockpiles of vaccines. Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has immunized more than 822 million children in 77 countries and prevented more than 14 million possible deaths.
Gavi’s success can be partly attributed to its innovative operating model which enables it to bring down vaccine prices by pooling country demand; working with donors and countries to secure predictable, long-term funding; and creating healthy vaccine markets. As part of its business model, all countries supported by Gavi must contribute a proportion of the costs of the vaccines they introduce. This proportion gradually increases as their Gross National Income increases, until the countries are fully funding their own vaccine programs.
In June 2019, the Gavi Board approved a new five-year strategy Gavi 5.0 (2021-2025) the goal of which was to immunize 300 million additional children during the strategic period. However, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Gavi’s goal as immunization programs and new vaccine introductions were delayed due to lockdowns in Gavi-supported countries. In early 2021, the COVAX Facility, a global mechanism to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines led by Gavi, started rolling out COVID-19 vaccine doses to high-risk groups in participating countries, with the aim of vaccinating up to 20% of people in these countries by the end of the year.
As Gavi prepares for what is likely to be its most challenging strategic period (2021-2025), the challenges before Berkey and his team are reaching the unvaccinated children still being left behind in LMICs with life-saving vaccines, maintaining immunization programs amidst COVID-19, ensuring equitable and broad access to COVID-19 vaccines, and securing reliable and adequate public funding for the COVAX facility.
AUTHORS: Syeda Maseeha Qumer and Debapratim Purkayastha, IFCAI Business School. Winner, Collaborative Governance Teaching Case, 2021.
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