250 million children to be vaccinated by 2015

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The GAVI Alliance is on track to meet its targets of supporting developing countries to immunize nearly 250 million children by 2015.

The organization says the immunization will help avert over four million deaths amongst children.

Funded at a cost of $ 7.4 billion, the GAVI Alliance says the four year immunization programme is also on course to bridge the historic gap in access to immunization between low- and high- income countries.

GAVI however notes that there were still pockets of regions around the world where access to immunization was still a major health public health issue, but efforts were underway to engage governments and communities on the need to scale up immunization to protect children.

Dr Seth Berkley , Chief Executive officer of the GAVI Alliance, says close to 22 million children in India, Nigeria and Ethiopia were missing out on the primary routine vaccination programmes.

"Vaccines are the most cost effective of all health interventions. Every child around the world as far as I am concerned should be vaccinated. And today when we ask the question what percentage of children are fully vaccinated with all the 11 vaccines that WHO recommends for children, today only about 5 per cent of the world's children have 11 of those vaccines. And we hope through this period and throught eh next period to increase that coverage so that children everywhere can be protected against these terrible diseases, and maximize their potential for life learning and productivity in their societies."

The GAVI alliance is currently supporting childhood immunization programmes in at least 73 developing countries.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.

Duration 1:44″

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