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HealthNews

AU, Gavi Agree to accelerate Vaccine uptake in Africa

ADDIS ABABA – The Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) says today it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the African Union to increase access and accelerate the uptake of vaccines across the continent.

The MoU was signed by AU Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development (HHS) Samate Cessouma and Gavi Chief Executive Officer Dr. Seth Berkley.

The partnership builds on the historic Addis Declaration on Immunization (ADI), which aims to ensure that everyone in Africa receives the full benefits of immunization.

“Children of today are the leaders of tomorrow. Knowing they are prone to preventable life-threatening diseases, we – current leaders – must do all it takes to protect and secure their future,” Commissioner Cessouma said.

“I am well-pleased with the growth of the partnership between the AUC and Gavi, which I am certain will accelerate reducing the number of zero-dose children worldwide by 2030,” Cessouma added.

In a statement today, Gavi says the MoU includes 10 commitments to increase political, financial and technical investments in immunization programs.

The statement mentioned four of them satating: AUC and Gavi agreed to work together to scale up and strengthen routine immunization; build sustainable regional vaccine manufacturing in Africa; and undertake joint advocacy to boost vaccine demand for routine vaccines.

They also agreed to strengthen primary health care systems and bolster diagnostic and surveillance capacity for diseases; and communicate jointly on routine immunization, pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (PPR), vaccine access and delivery.

“This MoU is the strengthening of our shared determination to protect more children against vaccine-preventable diseases and to help realize the AU’s vision for sustainable vaccine manufacturing and the New Public Health Order on the continent,” the Gavi CEO Dr. Berkley said.

The AUC and Africa CDC launched the New Public Health Order in September 2022. It offers insights and a roadmap towards health security on the continent, says Africa CDC Director General Dr. Jean Kaseya.

“The collaboration of the AUC and Gavi will further relate to Africa CDC-led initiatives for vaccine uptake in AU member states, as well as support investments in the goal to locally manufacture 60% of the vaccine doses required on the continent by 2040,” said Dr. Kaseya.