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Joining Forces to Reach Nearly Nine Million Children with Vaccines

Photo: Guido Dingemans / GAVI

From 13-15 June, Madrid is hosting the Global Vaccine Impact Conference, co-organised by Gavi and the Government of Spain. The conference celebrates the Gavi-Vaccine Alliance's achievement in protecting a whole generation of children from potentially fatal infectious diseases since 2000. In 2008, "la Caixa" Foundation teamed up with Gavi to launch the "Alliance for Child Vaccination" initiative, which is the subject of this article.


Vaccination is one of the world's greatest health and development success stories. Vaccines save millions of lives every year and are proven to be one of the most cost-effective interventions for human development, boosting economies and security for all.

With this in mind, in 2008 the "la Caixa" Foundation, in collaboration with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, launched the "Alliance for Childhood Immunisation" initiative, which aims to encourage companies to join the fight against child mortality as part of their corporate social responsibility. It also offers customers, employees and society at large the opportunity to join the initiative through micro-donations.

Quadrupling efforts to save lives

Since the launch of the Childhood Vaccine Alliance, more than 400,000 donations have been received. But in an unprecedented move, every donation received is being matched, first by the la Caixa Foundation and then by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (through its Matching Fund initiative). This means that for every euro donated by a company or individual, the amount given to Gavi to vaccinate children will be quadrupled.

All the donations received over these 15 years, together with the contributions from the "la Caixa" Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through the Matching Fund initiative,  have amounted to more than 87 million dollars, which have been used to finance the pneumonia vaccine in 10 African countries, mostly Mozambique and Ethiopia. Thanks to these donations, nearly 9 million children have been vaccinated against pneumonia, the world's biggest killer of children. Last year alone, 800,000 children died from pneumonia.

Corporate Social Responsibility

The private sector, and business in particular, has great potential and responsibility in the fight against inequality. Increasingly, social commitment and economic success are mutually reinforcing. In fact, leading academics have shown that participating in an innovative and recognised project that benefits society has a positive impact on the company, its results, its customers, its employees and its competitiveness. 

The Alliance for Childhood Immunisation is another example of how joining forces can achieve more and better results. That is why initiatives such as the Alliance for Childhood Vaccines are increasingly necessary.

It is why we must all continue to work together to prevent a child dying every 20 seconds from vaccine-preventable causes.