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Leading global health organizations involved in the Decade of Vaccines Collaboration are collectively pledging their support for the vision of reaching all people with lifesaving vaccines, and they are asking other organizations to make a similar commitment.

The Leadership Council of the Decade of Vaccines Collaboration pledges to make this vision a reality through the implementation of the Global Vaccine Action Plan, a roadmap endorsed by the World Health Assembly this year that defines what the immunization community wants to achieve over the next decade.

Gaining new support

By committing itself to the vision, the Leadership Council hopes to motivate other partners to pledge their support, including civil society and nongovernmental organizations, donors, and academia.

The recognition of the need for a more widespread commitment to immunization led the global health community to call for a Decade of Vaccines in 2010. PATH co-hosts the Decade of Vaccines Collaboration Secretariat along with IS Global and the Sabin Vaccine Institute and played a key role in facilitating the development of the Global Vaccine Action Plan.

Taking the pledge

This is the pledge made by the Decade of Vaccines Collaboration Leadership Council:

The Decade of Vaccines is a vision to reach all people with the vaccines they need. The Leadership Council of the Decade of Vaccines has made a commitment to this vision and asks for your organization’s pledge to improve the health and lives of women and children everywhere by systematically addressing their unmet needs in immunization. Immunization throughout a person’s lifetime is crucial if we are to achieve the ambitious goals of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health.

As representatives of the numerous organizations that worked on the Decade of Vaccines Collaboration, we are proud to say that millions of lives will be saved thanks to the promise of the Global Vaccine Action Plan, an ambitious roadmap approved by the World Health Assembly in May 2012 to deliver universal access to immunizations.

The leadership of the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the GAVI Alliance, the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the African Leaders Malaria Alliance, and others that formed the Decade of Vaccines Collaboration have pledged our support to this joint effort. Many governments, health leaders, nongovernment organizations, and other agencies have joined us.

We are all committed to improving the health of every woman and every child on the planet. Our vision to achieve this is straightforward: We will work together to extend, by 2020 and beyond, the full benefits of immunization to all people, regardless of where they are born, who they are, or where they live. We will use the powerful tools already available to most, but not yet all people, including existing and new vaccines that prevent disease and save lives.

We have achieved many things through immunization: We eradicated smallpox from the world, in what has been called one of mankind’s greatest triumphs. We are on the verge of eradicating polio, and the toll of other diseases has dropped tremendously. The Region of the Americas has eliminated measles and rubella, saving many lives.

Despite these accomplishments, and the lives that have been improved through immunization, we cannot rest while the lives of so many depend on our actions at this seminal moment. We must reach forward, work together, and make this vision of the Decade of Vaccines a reality. We all have a role in making this happen. We ask that you make your voices heard and your actions count, in support of the Global Vaccine Action Plan.

If your organization would like to make the pledge, please email your commitment of support to:everywomaneverychild@unfoundation.org.

More information

Posted October 10, 2012.