Gavi to support India’s immunisation programme

New Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS) Gavi, a global vaccine alliance, has announced a partnership with the government here to accelerate access to modern, highly-efficacious vaccines to support India’s immunisation programme, it was announced on Thursday.

Under the partnership, Gavi will provide up to $500 million between 2016 and 2021.

The decision in this regard was taken during a meeting between Gavi’s CEO Seth Berkley and Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Wednesday.

“The new partnership will accelerate the introduction of modern, highly-efficacious vaccines in India, protecting children against the leading causes of disease, including pneumonia and severe diarrhoea, which claim lives of more than 200,000 children under the age of five every year,” Gavi said in a statement here.

Gavi is an international organisation that was created in 2000 to improve access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries

Support will also be made available for the measles-rubella combined vaccine. This vaccine protects children against measles, a highly infectious disease that kills at least 30,000 children in India every year.

“Together with WHO and Unicef, Gavi’s support will help India to turbo-charge its immunisation programmes,” Berkley said.

“I applaud the government of India, in particular the leadership of the prime minister and the health minister, for taking such a bold position on immunisation and for recognising the role it has to play in protecting India’s children,” Berkley added.

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