Bringing vaccines to those who need them most
Vaccines are one of the most lifesaving and cost-effective interventions in global health, yet each year 1.5 million children still die from vaccine-preventable diseases. PATH is working to bridge the gap for the 24 million children around the world who do not have access to basic immunizations and new vaccines.
PATH works to ensure equitable access to vaccines through partnerships that provide key evidence, technical assistance, and advocacy and communications support to low-resource, high-burden countries around the world. Our collaborations with global stakeholders including Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the World Health Organization focus on empowering countries, ensuring affordability, and informing national and global immunization policies. We help increase access to vaccines by generating and distilling key data, communicating the value of vaccines, and shaping strategies that prioritize vaccine introduction and sustain strong delivery systems.
Access through affordability
The immunization gap is widest in low-resource countries, where national governments have severely limited funds to apply across the public health arena. Although immunization is very cost-effective, strategic financing mechanisms and donor funding are often necessary in these settings to ensure access to new vaccines and to strengthen systems that deliver routine immunizations.
Due to gaps in financing and the collection of critical evidence, it can often take 10 to 15 years for new vaccines to become available in poor countries. Through our partnership with Gavi, PATH has played a central role in dramatically accelerating this timeline. With data in hand to demonstrate the potential of new rotavirus vaccines in high-burden communities, for example, PATH helped make the case for Gavi support to countries for rotavirus vaccine introduction. For the first time in history, a new vaccine reached a low-resource country (Nicaragua) in the same year as its introduction in the United States.
PATH also helps ensure equitable access through our collaborations with vaccine manufacturers, as well, applying the product development partnership model. In return for PATH’s technical and funding contributions, vaccine developers commit to pricing and/or supply strategies that guarantee affordability and availability of vaccines where they are needed most.
Advocacy for immunization
PATH also engages in several interrelated advocacy efforts to help vaccines achieve their greatest possible health impact. Our advocacy and communications collaborations build awareness of the burden of vaccine-preventable diseases and the immunization strategies proven to reduce childhood illness and death.
In addition to our work to increase access to proven, existing drugs, vaccines, tests, and other health tools, we also contribute to the Global Health Technologies Coalition’s advocacy efforts. Through this strategic collaboration, PATH promotes resource investments and policy development that support the next generation of products and technologies and further enable partners to reduce illness and death worldwide.
PATH IN ACTION
Defeating diarrheal disease
Our DefeatDD initiative raises awareness about diarrheal disease, which remains as a leading cause of child death in poor communities, yet doesn’t typically receive the attention or funding required to invest in proven tools such as rotavirus vaccines. As with many childhood diseases, vaccines are an essential tool for defeating diarrhea. Our advocacy encourages their use within a comprehensive strategy that includes support for vaccines alongside other proven interventions such as oral rehydration solution, nutrition, clean water and sanitation, and treatment with zinc. Conquering childhood diarrhea requires a commitment to a full package of treatment and prevention options, and vaccine advocacy represents a fundamental platform for spotlighting the power of such integration. [Photo: PATH]