Maintain vaccine alliance
Columnist Nicholas Kristof in “Why 2019 has been the best year in human history” (Opinion, Dec. 29) notes, among other indicia of the reduction in global poverty, the decline in childhood mortality rates. It is critical to acknowledge, however, that this reduction is in significant part due to multilateral programs created to address poverty, malnutrition and disease in the developing world.
By way of example, in response to the daily deaths of thousands of children due to illnesses which could be avoided through immunization, in 2000 a public-private partnership was created called GAVI, the vaccine alliance. Since its inception, GAVI has dedicated $16 billion to supporting vaccination efforts in 76 low-income countries. This work has paid off. A recent study on the impact of vaccinations on mortality estimates that vaccines administered between 2011 and 2026 will help avert more than 23 million future deaths.
While lives have been saved, preventable deaths persist. The U.S. has supported GAVI since its beginning, through financial contributions, technical assistance and participation in its governance. It is critical that our government maintain its commitment to GAVI. Such efforts will ensure that the next year will be even better than this one.
— Greg Campbell, Creve Coeur, Missouri