With a view to ensure that childhood vaccination becomes a key priority for the new Indian government, GAVI Alliance, a public-private partnership committed to saving children’s lives and protecting people’s health by increasing access to immunisation in poor countries, has called for renewed efforts in India to bolster routine immunisation coverage and protect more children from vaccine preventable disease. The association stressed that immunisation is one of the best investments for future generations of Indian children, especially with vaccines making a broader contribution to human and economic development.
The call comes during the launch of GAVI’s replenishment in Brussels, in Belgium, where it set out an investment case for donors to back ambitious plans to immunise an additional 300 million children globally between 2016 and 2020, saving between five and six million lives. Currently, 1.5 million children still die each year of vaccine preventable disease, and one in five children worldwide do not receive a full course of even the most basic vaccines. With a birth cohort of 26 million infants, India is home to the largest number of these unimmunised children - 6.8 million or roughly a third of the world’s total.
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