For providing sustained access to childhood vaccines around the globe, saving millions of lives, and for highlighting the power of immunization to prevent disease
The 2019 Lasker~Bloomberg Public Service Award honors Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, for providing sustained access to childhood vaccines around the globe, thus saving millions of lives, and for highlighting the power of immunization to prevent disease. By harnessing the latest scientific advances, collaborating, and exercising economic influence, Gavi ensures sufficient vaccine supplies at affordable prices, accelerates development and deployment of new vaccines, and strengthens healthcare systems. To date, Gavi has helped vaccinate more than 760 million children and saved over 13 million lives in 73 countries.
Bill Gates has famously said, “vaccines are a miracle” and, although they are a product of research and not supernatural forces, their effects touch on the divine. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), immunization prevents between 2 and 3 million deaths every year. Its success has created one of the most dramatic and cost-effective public health stories in history.
Nurse Madeleine Semo vaccinates a young baby at the Ngbaka Health Center in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Gavi/Phil Moore