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$35 billion needed globally for immunization

Globally $35 billion will be required for immunization in the next ten years to save an additional ten million lives//.

The money will go towards reaching more children with basic vaccines, improving health care systems and introducing new vaccines such as those for pneumococcus, rotavirus, meningitis and Japanese encephalitis, a UNICEF and WHO report released here revealed.

But there is a huge financial gap of $10-15 billion, which the Global Alliance on Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) hopes rich countries will bridge.

However, there was a shortfall of $10 ten to $15 billion dollars in ensuring rapid development and availability of vaccines worldwide, which is crucial in reducing childhood mortality. This amount would have to be met by increasing the contributions from the governments, international organisations and from other sources like solidarity tax and levy on air tickets, Mr Lob-Levyt, secretary of GAVI said. Norway has already announced that it will give $75 million annually to the fund for the next decade.

The current $2.5 billion annual spending on immunization in the poorest countries would have to be increased to $3.5 billion by 2010 and $4 billion by 2015 to achieve the goal.

''For the first time we have a costed global picture, a global strategy and a process for tracking needs against the available resources. This information was a great achievement by WHO, UNICEF and other partners. It places GAVI Alliance in a great position to respond to the challenges posed by the partners' Global Immunization Vision and Strategies program,'' Mr Lob-Levyt said.

Of the $35 billion needed for the 72 poorest countries in the next decade, there is a $10-15 billion funding shortfall if we are to achieve the goal of saving 10 million more lives. This huge shortfall of $10-15 billion is needed for immunization to save millions of lives in the next 10 years, the GAVI urged rich nations to con
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