Health and Healthcare Systems

Saving lives through vaccinations

A child is given vitamin A drops during a house-to-house vaccination campaign in Sanaa, Yemen February 20, 2017.

A child is given vitamin A drops during a house-to-house vaccination campaign in Sanaa, Yemen Image: REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Health and Healthcare Systems?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Global Health is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Global Health

This is part of a series of articles exploring the role the World Economic Forum has played in supporting the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ahead of our Sustainable Development Impact Summit in New York. Goal 3 is good health and well-being.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has helped the world’s poorest countries prevent over 8 million deaths since its launch in 2000.

The challenge

Progress towards immunising all the world’s children ground to a halt in the 1990s. Other donor priorities took precedence, and there was little commercial incentive for pharmaceutical companies to provide vaccines to the developing world. By the year 2000, children in poorer countries were receiving just half the vaccines provided to children in the developed world. Nearly thirty million children were not fully immunized.

The strategy

Gavi launched at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos in 2000 with the aid of a $750 million donation from the Gates Foundation. Its mission was a new approach to the vaccination challenge, based on the innovative Forum concept of multistakeholder cooperation.

Multistakeholder cooperation brings together diverse organizations so that together they can achieve impact that they could not achieve alone. In this way, Gavi brings together the best of what key UN agencies, governments, the vaccine industry, private sector and civil society can offer to improve childhood immunization coverage in poor countries and to accelerate access to new vaccines.

The aim is to make vaccines more affordable and available, and help developing countries reach the point where they can pay for and manage their own vaccination programmes.

The impact

Gavi has contributed to the immunization of nearly 580 million children, saving an estimated 8 million lives.

A 2016 study in Health Affairs found that for every $1 spent on immunization, $16 is saved in healthcare costs, and by avoiding lost wages and lost productivity due to illness.

Gavi is also achieving longer-term sustainability. Nine countries – Bhutan, Guyana, Honduras, Indonesia, Kiribati, Moldova, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and Ukraine – have started to finance all the vaccines introduced through Gavi support.

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

More on Health and Healthcare Systems
See all

This is how stress affects every organ in our bodies

Michelle Meineke

May 22, 2024

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum