New and underused vaccines

IFFIm supports low-income countries applying for Gavi's new and underused vaccine support

New and underused vaccines

With funds provided by IFFIm, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance has had a catalytic effect on increasing uptake of underused vaccines in the poorest countries.

Pentavalent vaccine

One significant example is Gavi’s purchase of pentavalent vaccine, supported by more than US$ 1 billion in funds provided by IFFIm.

Pentavalent combines five different vaccines in a single vial to protect against five diseases: three covered by DTP (diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus), hepatitis B (hepB) and Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) disease.

Thanks to funding from IFFIm, in only one year, the number of Gavi-eligible countries that introduced the vaccine rose from 18 at end-2007, to 36 by end-2008, and had reached 59 at end-2010, when close to 28 million children were immunised with pentavalent vaccine with Gavi support.

Gavi support for pentavalent has laid the foundation for increased demand, giving countries and manufacturers confidence to include pentavalent in their long-term plans.

By 2015, with funding from IFFIm, Gavi aims to support the immunisation of an additional 230 million children with the five-in-one vaccine.


Consider DTP. With support from IFFIm, Gavi has made dramatic and significant inroads with basic DTP3 immunisation coverage approaching 80%, a remarkable achievement driven by the countries themselves.

A fourth disease covered by pentavalent vaccine, Hib, is the cause of meningitis and pneumonia, which are both big killers of children in their first few months of life. It is estimated that Hib kills 370,000 children every year, in addition to leaving the majority of those who survive with lifelong disabilities including paralysis, deafness, mental retardation and learning disabilities.

In Uganda – one of the first Gavi-supported countries to vaccinate children with the pentavalent vaccine – Hib was virtually eliminated in just five years, preventing 30,000 cases of severe Hib disease and 5,000 child deaths every year.

The pentavalent vaccine is expected to prevent 90% of Hib-related deaths, making a huge difference to children's health and also contributing to efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goal to reduce child mortality by two thirds by 2015.

Funding through IFFIm

IFFIm has provided significant funding for many other Gavi-supported vaccines, including more than US$ 40 million each toward pneumococcal vaccine, yellow fever vaccine and tetravalent vaccine. IFFIm also has helped fund Gavi immunisation programmes to fight hepatitis B and measles.

In addition, IFFIm has funded special, one-time investment cases, such as providing nearly US$ 200 million toward Gavi’s participation in polio eradication and US$ 139 million toward measles mortality reduction. Other investment cases have included purchasing yellow fever stockpiles and funding meningitis eradication.

US$ 1 = US$ 18

A study in Health Affairs covering 73 Gavi-supported countries over the 2011–2020 period shows that, for every US$ 1 spent on immunisation, US$ 18 are saved in healthcare costs, lost wages and lost productivity due to illness. If we take into account the broader benefits of people living longer, healthier lives, the return on investment rises to US$ 48 per US$ 1 spent.

Ozawa S, Clark S, Portnoy A et al. Return on investment from childhood immunizations in low- and middle-income countries, 2011-20, Health Affairs 2016.

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