Canada’s long-standing history as a world leader in vaccine delivery and eradication of disease was reaffirmed today by the Government of Canada’s continued commitments to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). This is an especially critical intervention as Canadians have clearly witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic that viruses and diseases know no borders.
The Hon. Karina Gould, Minister of International Development announced the government’s ongoing commitment to Gavi and GPEI this morning to support routine vaccinations as she co-hosted the launch of the Group of Friends of Solidarity for Global Health Security virtual meeting, alongside her counterparts from Denmark, Qatar, the Republic of Korea and Sierra Leone.
Later, Prime MInister Justin Trudeau noted that in addition to saving millions of lives by delivering vaccines to some of the world’s most vulnerable, Gavi will ensure that a COVID-19 vaccine, once developed, will get to the people who need it. He added, “In our interconnected world, to end this pandemic for good in Canada, we need to end it everywhere.”
Through Gavi, a further 300 million children worldwide will be vaccinated against 18 diseases. The GPEI will save the world $14B in health costs by 2050 that would otherwise be borne to fight polio.
It’s alarming that 1.5 million children continue to die every year from vaccine preventable diseases and through the support of nations globally like Canada, Gavi’s innovative and cost-effective approach to vaccine procurement and delivery, will deliver 3.2 billion doses of life-saving vaccines, including polio, in 55 countries by 2025. Through the GPEI, Canada has seized the opportunity to continue the Canadian history of leading the fight against polio and make history: ending a disease for the 2nd time in human history.
As part of the Thrive Agenda, the Canadian global health community’s collective vision for global Canadian leadership, both Gavi and GPEI undertake a gendered approach to their work which recognizes that the critical role of women in their communities and the need to empower women and girls as drivers of change in their economies.
CanWaCH looks forward to continuing our work alongside Gavi and the GPEI in advancing the health, rights and well-being of women, adolescents and children everywhere.