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The new initiative will use supply chains to improve the supply of vaccines in areas where there is poor transportation, inadequate or non-existent refrigeration, and weak stock management.
GAVI said it is currently in talks with several technology, freight and logistics companies about sharing their supply chain expertise.
It will use its ‘Supply Chain Technical Improvement Facility’ (SCTIF) to provide funding to GAVI-supported countries to overcome “immediate bottlenecks in the supply chain or cold chain (storage and transportation of refrigerated vaccines)”.
Private sector donations to GAVI through the SCTIF will be doubled through the GAVI Matching Fund by the UK Government or the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
GAVI will also create a supply chain centre of excellence involving a handful of global corporations to help with vaccine delivery challenges. Members would meet regularly to provide supply chain advice, best practices, technical assistance and funding, GAVI said.
“Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective healthcare interventions ever invented, but they can become unusable due to supply chain failures, requiring innovative ways to store and transport them,” said GAVI chief executive Dr Seth Berkley.
“GAVI is committed to deliver on its promise to immunise an additional quarter billion people by 2015. We know that the private sector can help us reach previously unreached children and save many more lives.”
Last year, telecoms firm Vodafone said it would provide mobile technology and resources to improve the supply of vaccinations to African children.