Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI)

At a Glance
  • Status: Active Consortium
  • Year Launched: 2000
  • Initiating Organization: GAVI
  • Initiator Type: Third-party organization
  • Rare disease
  • Disease focus:
    Hepatitis C, Haemophilus Influenzae type B, Rotavirus, Pneumonia
  • Location: International


Created in 2000, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (Gavi) is an international organization — a global vaccine alliance, bringing together the public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries.


With help of a US$750 million, five-year pledge from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gavi was created in January 2000. A unique public-private partnership, Gavi was created to bring together the best of what key U.N. agencies, governments, the vaccine industry, the private sector, and civil society have to offer in order to improve childhood immunization coverage in poor countries and to accelerate access to new vaccines.

This model was designed to leverage not only financial resources but also expertise to make vaccines more affordable and more available, and their provision more sustainable, by working toward a point where developing countries can pay for them themselves. It is a 21st-century development model for a new millennium and one that works — by 2015 reaching 500 million children and preventing more than 7 million deaths. And that is just the beginning. Looking ahead Gavi’s vision is to ramp up this number, reaching an additional 300 million children between 2016 and 2020, preventing an additional 5-6 million deaths.

Structure & Governance

The Gavi Secretariat is responsible and accountable for the day-to-day operations. Led by the chief executive officer and supported by six departments, the Secretariat offices are located in Geneva, Switzerland, and Washington, D.C. Its responsibilities include the following:


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s initial five-year pledge of US$750 million in 1999 provided the seed money to launch Gavi.

Intellectual Property

Access to Information Policy
The purpose of this policy is to enhance Gavi’s accountability toward its partners and stakeholders, as well as the general public who may be interested in Gavi’s work, by providing access to the information that will enable Gavi partners and stakeholders to understand its governance, strategies, policies, and activities.

Legal Status
Gavi is a Swiss Foundation with international institution status in Switzerland and public charity status in the U.S.  

In the U.S., Gavi is recognized as a foreign equivalent of a U.S. public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. This charitable status exempts Gavi from U.S. federal income tax and state tax. In addition, the charitable status enables private foundations (e.g., Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) to contribute to Gavi without having to undertake oversight responsibility to ensure the funds are used for charitable purposes, which involves extensive reporting and legal work. Most private foundations, therefore, require that grantee organizations have 501(c)(3) public charity status given the administrative burden of making contributions to organizations without this charitable status.


In its first 10 years, Gavi has been instrumental in promoting access to new vaccines for hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b and to pentavalent vaccine, which tackles five diseases in one shot. More recently Gavi has supported new vaccines against rotavirus and pneumonia.

Child mortality in Gavi-supported countries declined from 78 to 73 deaths per 1,000 live births between 2010 and 2012, with vaccines responsible for part of the decline. As a result of the unprecedented number of vaccine introductions and increasing vaccine coverage, Gavi is on track to reduce child mortality to 68 per 1,000 live births by 2015.

Projections indicate that by the end of 2013 vaccines from Gavi will have averted more than 2.2 million future deaths. Gavi expects to meet its target of averting 3.9 million future deaths from 2011 to the end of 2015.

Projections for 2013 indicate approximately 48 million children were immunized with Gavi-supported vaccines.

Progress reports for each year are available on Gavi’s website.

Points of Contact

Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance Secretariat
Geneva, Switzerland

2 Chemin des Mines
1202 Geneva
phone: +41 22 909 6500
fax: +41 22 909 6550

Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance Secretariat
Washington, DC

1776 I (Eye) Street, NW
Suite 600
Washington DC 20006
phone: 202-478-1050
fax: 202-478-1060

Sponsors & Partners

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The World Bank


World Health Organization

Last Updated: 04/18/2016

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