GAVI has started supporting new vaccines against human papillomavirus and rubella
Causes of under-five deaths in GAVI-eligible countries – 2010 estimate
Source: CHERG, WHO and UNICEF 2012
With the increased funding pledged by GAVI donors in June 2011, GAVI invited eligible countries to apply for support for vaccines against human papillomavirus (HPV) and rubella in March 2012.
Cervical cancer claims the lives of some 275,000 women every year with the vast majority living in developing countries.
New HPV vaccines, which can prevent approximately 70 percent of all cervical cancer cases, have recently been introduced in many wealthy countries. Making these vaccines available to girls in developing countries is vital as they often lack access to cancer screening and treatment services.
Countries will receive GAVI support provided that GAVI can secure acceptable price commitments from manufacturers and countries can prove their ability to deliver the vaccines. The aim is to immunise over 28 million women and girls by 2020.
HPV vaccines offer an exciting opportunity to help countries integrate vaccine delivery with other important interventions for girls such as adolescent reproductive health, HIV prevention, nutrition, family planning and maternal health.
When a woman is infected with the rubella virus early in pregnancy, she has a 90 percent chance of passing the virus on to her fetus. This can cause the death of the fetus, or it may cause congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) - possibly resulting in severe birth defects in the ears, eyes, heart and brain.
It is estimated that of the 112,000 children born with rubella-related birth defects every year, 90,000 are in GAVI-eligible countries.
GAVI's support will help to fight this disease and protect both mothers and babies from its effects.
GAVI will build on the success of measles control activities by supporting the combined measles-rubella vaccine.
Beginning in 2012, the Alliance plans to fund catch-up campaigns of measles-rubella vaccine for countries, on the condition they introduce the vaccines into their routine immunisation programmes at their own cost.
GAVI's 2008 vaccine investment strategy also identified two other priority vaccines for future investment:
Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a seasonal endemic that afflicts parts of China, the Russian Federation's south-east, and South and South-East Asia. Estimated annual mortality ranges from 10-15,000 deaths, while the total number of clinical cases may be as high as 50,000. GAVI has prioritised JE under its new vaccine investment strategy and, if fully funded, will support its roll-out.
Typhoid remains a serious public health problem around the world, with an estimated 16-33 million cases and 216,000 to 600,000 deaths annually. With full funding, GAVI plans to support typhoid vaccine.
Support for Japanese encephalitis and typhoid will be considered once appropriate products are prequalified.
The Alliance is also keeping a close eye on the potential for new vaccines against malaria and dengue fever, which could have major impacts on the lives and health of people in the developing world.