Press release 4 June 2020

Pharma pledges to continue 20 year partnership with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Press release
  • IFPMA members have worked for 20 years with Gavi to stem the ravages of childhood infectious diseases, helping vaccinate an entire generation of children so that they can thrive into adulthood and working to discover and increase access to new life-saving vaccines
  • At the Global Vaccine Summit, IFPMA and its members pledge to play their part in protecting the health of the next generation, with the broadest vaccine portfolio in history.
  • Solidarity and shared responsibility are embedded in working at unparalleled speed to develop and build manufacturing capacity and distribution networks to deploy a COVID-19 vaccine.

Geneva, 4 June 2020: Ahead of the Global Vaccine Summit and the donor pledging conference to mobilize resources for the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) for the next five years, the world’s leading biopharmaceutical and vaccines companies restated their commitment to supporting Gavi’s mission to protect future generations from disease.

As founding partners in Gavi, the world’s leading biopharmaceutical and vaccines companies and IFPMA, the body representing the biopharmaceutical industry, have worked over the past 20 years to extend the benefits of immunization to some of the poorest countries in the world. Industry’s partnership with Gavi has helped transform the health of the world’s children, with over 760 million of them more likely to survive and thrive into adulthood. From the near-eradication of polio, via the mass distribution of the pentavalent vaccine, which offers protection to children from five major infectious diseases, to new vaccines that protect against Ebola and cervical cancer – more children have been immunized with a wider range of vaccines than at any time in history.

The value of vaccines to lives and livelihoods has never been felt more acutely than today, as the pharmaceutical industry builds on existing partnerships such as with Gavi to share its knowhow, expertise and partners in the urgent efforts to develop and deploy safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines rapidly, equitably, and at scale. The biopharmaceutical industry shares a deep sense of responsibility to leave no one behind and to ensure hard-won global health progress achieved in recent decades is not reversed.

Pharmaceutical companies, members of IFPMA, reaffirm their support for protecting future generations from disease, making five major commitments to support Gavi’s mission to reach 300 million more children with the full protection of the broadest vaccine portfolio in history:

  • Bring to life new vaccine solutions that save lives, protect health and prevent the spread of disease
  • Reach those most in need and underserved by innovating throughout the supply chain and ensuring the availability of high-quality vaccines to meet existing and growing demand
  • Support the strengthening, sustainability and resilience of national immunization services
  • Prepare for public health emergencies to ensure the rapid sharing of information, the deployment of scientific expertise and the delivery of vaccines for use in outbreak responses
  • Partner to share capabilities, expertise and maximize the impact of life-saving vaccines

“We’ve been working with Gavi for 20 years, sharing our vaccine innovation expertise to stem the ravages of infectious diseases. NOW we are working at unprecedented levels of collaboration and speed, sparing no resources to develop a COVID-19 vaccine in record time. Thankfully, what is NOT unprecedented is the notion that collaborative efforts and partnerships can deliver and can transform lives. Gavi has shown how powerful public and private partnerships can be – ensuring nobody is left behind. We will succeed by working openly with others with critical roles to play, both in fighting COVID-19 and bringing vaccines to the next generation of children.” said Thomas Cueni, Director General of IFPMA, International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations.

“COVID-19 has shown us why vaccine research and development is so important and why global collaborations is needed to tackle both current and future diseases. With a world leading pharmaceutical industry, and a longstanding commitment to Gavi, the UK is well placed to support the international cooperation needed to protect the world from infectious diseases”, said Richard Torbett, Chief Executive, ABPI.

As we approach the Global Vaccines Summit on 4th June, the importance of vaccination to the health of people across the world has never been clearer. GSK is a proud Gavi partner. Gavi has dramatically expanded the global reach of immunisation, saving millions of lives, helping companies like ours supply vaccines to low-income countries. We have worked together for 20 years and today, we are one of the largest suppliers of vaccines to Gavi – delivering more than 740 million doses of vaccine to more than 50 countries in the last ten years, helping protect millions of children from rotavirus, pneumococcal disease and cervical cancer. Now, it is time to make sure Gavi secures more funding, for the next 5 years. Working together, we can help protect many more millions of lives and at GSK, we offer our full support”, said Roger Connor, President Global Vaccines, GSK.

Johnson & Johnson supports the critical role of Gavi in advancing the public health of millions of people around the world through vaccines. Vaccines are key to ending some of the world’s most challenging epidemics and pandemics, including HIV, Ebola and now, coronavirus. We are committed to working with our multiple partners to develop and bring forward these solutions as quickly as possible to everyone, everywhere”, said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson.

With over a 100-year legacy in Vaccines, MSD stands with Gavi in their mission to reach 300 million more children through the broadest vaccine portfolio in the Alliance’s history.  Along with our partners in the global health community, MSD is a committed partner in protecting lives and making a sustainable impact in countries where the burden of disease is the highest in the world” said John H. Markels, President, MSD Vaccines.

We pledge to play our part in protecting the health of the next generation. We commit to supporting Gavi’s mission to reach 300 million more children with the full protection of the broadest vaccine portfolio in history. We are fully engaged to prepare for the next polio end game step with our massive IPV industrial capacity and with our upcoming IPV-containing hexavalent pediatric vaccine, specifically designed to help GAVI countries and the low-middle income countries in accelerating IPV coverage uptake across the pediatric population during the new 2021-25 GAVI period”, said Thomas Triomphe, Executive Vice President, Sanofi Pasteur.

Building on more than a decade of partnership with Gavi, helping to saves lives and reduce the burden of pneumococcal disease for a generation of children, we proudly stand with Gavi, IFPMA and all of the global health partners in the fight against infectious disease. We are committed to doing our part to protect the next generation by building on the gains we have seen and by bringing new breakthroughs that align with the needs of vulnerable populations. Every fully vaccinated child helps to improves the lives and economic well-being of their entire community and their country”, said Susan Silbermann, President Emerging Markets, Pfizer Inc.

We pledge to support Gavi’s mission to reach 300 million more children in the next Gavi generation, through a range of vaccine development programs that target some of the most important threats to global health”, said Rajeev Venkayya, President, Global Vaccine Business Unit, Takeda.

Notes to editor

Gavi: Impact of 20 years, some facts:

  • 760 million children who are more likely to survive and thrive into adulthood.
  • Taking into account healthcare costs, lost wages and productivity due to illness, as well as the broader benefits of people living longer, healthier lives, there is a return of US$54 on every US$ 1 invested in immunization in Gavi-supported countries.
  • By preventing illness, death and long-term disability, Gavi-supported vaccines have helped generate more than US$150 billion in economic benefits between 2000 and 2017.
  • Polio cases have fallen by over 99%.

Pharma COVID-19 timeline:

The biopharmaceutical industry mobilized at an unprecedented scale and, just days after the pandemic was declared, it committed to do all it could to fight the pandemic and work in partnership with governments, the WHO and health systems across the world in a concerted, collective response [19 March 2020]. At the time, industry leaders indicated that a new vaccine could be available in record time, hopefully within 12 to 18 months. But this remained a very ambitious timeline and testing the safety of the new vaccine should not be compromised. Since then, IFPMA has joined the global public-private partnership, ACT Accelerator on 24 April 2020, as founding partner, and it is bringing to this new partnership its knowledge and expertise in the discovery and development of medicines and vaccines, as well as its experience in building manufacturing capacity and distribution networks. The industry was invited to lend its support to the Coronavirus Global Response Pledging Marathon on 4 May 2020. IFPMA has published on 28 May the Vaccines policy principles that will guide its work going forwards with the ACT Accelerator Vaccines group.


The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) represents over 90 innovative pharmaceutical companies and associations around the world. Our industry’s almost three million employees discover, develop, and deliver medicines and vaccines that advance global health. Based in Geneva, IFPMA has official relations with the United Nations and contributes industry expertise to help the global health community improve the lives of people everywhere. For more information, visit

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