18 JUN 2018
Thank you very much for taking the time to email me about the UK's support for vaccinations for the world's poorest.
I understand your concern on this matter and hope the following information on this topic from the Department of International Development is reassuring:
Good health is valuable not only in its own right, but in contributing to the prosperity and stability of developing countries, lifting people out of poverty. Immunisation is one of the most cost-effective ways of improving living standards, health and economies: for every £1 spent on immunisation, £16 is expected to be gained through direct savings on medical treatment costs and lost productivity caused by illness or death. Incredibly, when the broader economic and social benefits of helping children stay healthy and grow up into productive adults are taken into account, the return on investment rises to £44 for every £1 invested.
Vaccination is key to reducing childhood deaths from preventable diseases: vaccines administered in 41 of the world's poorest countries between 2016 and 2030 are expected to prevent 36 million deaths. That would not be possible without the UK's continued support through organisations such as Gavi, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and the World Health Organisation.
The UK is the largest investor in Gavi: since its creation in 2000, our investment has helped support the immunisation of 640 million children, preventing nine million deaths. The Government's has continued to support for Gavi's work: between 2016 and 2020, the UK is investing £1.44 billion in Gavi, which will directly enable 76 million children to be vaccinated and will save 1.4 million lives. Gavi's success in bringing down the cost of vaccines, making them more affordable for the world's poorest countries, also means our aid budget goes further. Since 2011, GAVI has enabled a 43 per cent reduction in the total cost of immunising a child, from $33 to $19.
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