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UNICEF’s Vaccine Independence Initiative Has Potential To Ensure All Children Have Access To Vaccines

HuffPost: An added boost to help countries ensure more children receive life-saving vaccines
Orin Levine, director of vaccine delivery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…[UNICEF’s Vaccine Independence Initiative (VII)] is a key element in UNICEF’s supply financing portfolio. It provides technical support to governments and short-term bridge financing to help countries procure vaccines and other immunization-related supplies. Now, to assist countries in their Gavi transition period, UNICEF has announced a new $15 million financial guarantee to VII from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, more than doubling VII’s total available funds to $35 million and coming on the heels of other recent contributions from Gavi and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. … It would be easy to view VII as merely a matter of dollars and cents. However, we’re ultimately most excited about VII’s potential to help countries minimize the risk of vaccine stock outs, achieve full ownership in financing their immunization systems, and most importantly, ensure that all children have access to lifesaving vaccines” (12/13).