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Born to Die vaccines campaign/ GAVI Conference

(63 Posts)
SnailWhaleTail Fri 03-Jun-11 14:05:06

So, further to Mumsnet HQs thread above about attending the GAVI conference on funding childhood vaccines in the developing world I'm really looking forward to Monday 13th when I'll be at the conference to see what transpires and which countries pledge what.

More info from Save the Children

And from ONEs website too

This info is really worth looking at and I'll post more as I get it.

Any comments on the campaign or points of discussion would be really interesting to hear.

Pram1nTheHall Tue 07-Jun-11 11:14:03

Nice gig!

I heard yesterday that some of the big pharma drug producers have pledged to bring down the pirces of some of the vaccines - includes one vaccine that's a 5-in-1? - which sounds like good news. I think GlaxoSmithKline was one of them. I remember reading somewhere that it's relatively new chief exec is quite proactive on this issue.

I hope that this conference does something to address the cynicism of those who are opposed to foreign aid. Seems like a cut-and-dried example of how our money can be put to excellent, indisputably effective use in poor countries.

carriemumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 07-Jun-11 15:27:07

It's hard to know what to say because vaccines are such a no brainer - (and I hate that phrase but...) The Save campaign says it all - No child is born to die and it's just immoral in the 21st century that children die of wholly preventable diseases. It would be fantastic if the big pharma companies could be persuaded to help - if one of them starts lowering their prices hopefully the rest will follow.

Apart from pledging support and wishing you all the best for the conference I've no more to add - but do let us know if there's any action required. Good luck

LindsayWagner Wed 08-Jun-11 15:44:59

Interesting and admirable to be pouring these resources into vaccines – but I'm worried about what’s being done about longer-term, sustainable healthcare systems to ensure that the children who receive the jabs go on to get decent healthcare in other areas - preferably free at the point of need, and for their adult lives as well as during childhood.

Crumblemum Wed 08-Jun-11 16:01:10

Great you're going and great UK still doing this. Despite all else I could say on DC, admirable that the 0.7% target remains. I'd like to know a bit more about what made the pharma companies finally start doing something - is this big business doing good (albeit a bit late) or is there a more interesting back story?

SnailWhaleTail Wed 08-Jun-11 19:13:02

Yy, one of the issues that interests me too is the sustainability of the vaccine programme long term. How are countries going to absorb the costs of the HCPs to give the vaccine and how will infection control issues be managed?

The 2 vaccines are for Rotavirus which is a significant cause of D and V, and pneumococcal which will prevent pneumonia. There is an interesting table on the Save the Children website on the causes of death of Under 5s and these which I'll link to when I get back to a proper computer.

I'm keen to see on Friday when we hand the petition to Downing St what kind of media cover it gets and whether the Gavi conference is widely reported.

SnailWhaleTail Wed 08-Jun-11 19:16:40

Crumblemum and Pram1inthehall; I'll have a look and see what info there is regarding the interest of the big drugs companies. I believe from the info that the ONE group have access to that the figures are based on a bulk buy of the vaccine so again I wonder what the cost in subsequent years will be.

Pram1nTheHall Thu 09-Jun-11 12:44:25

Yes, the long-term healthcare thing is a good point. I sometimes wonder whether big aid campaigning groups focus so much on babies/children because it will get a bigger public response, slightly to the detriment of less 'attractive' campaigns around things like lifelong healthcare (free at the point of need being a crucial thing, as Lindsay says)

There was an interesting piece on the Gates Foundation, which pours lots of money into vaccine research, here.

Are you going to No 10 then? I've only ever walked past the Whitehall entrance and looked longingly through the railings. Usually when I'm on a shouty march of some kind... I agree with CrumbleMum, I'm hugely impressed that the Coalition has stuck to the 0.7% target. Much as I think they're otherwise a bunch of f*ckers. And you can criticise some of the things they're spending it on (securitisation of aid etc, seems to be a cover for military spending). But still, with all the rightwing backbench/Daily Mail/Express opposition and lukewarm support among the public at large, it would have been very easy for them to drop it. I'm almost coming to the conclusion that they believe it's the right thing to do shock

SnailWhaleTail Thu 09-Jun-11 13:02:34 Posting from work but here's a bit more info.

SnailWhaleTail Thu 09-Jun-11 13:13:38

One more day intil the handing in of the petition and here's another video with some views of the general public on the subject of foriegn aid.

StuartfromONE Thu 09-Jun-11 15:47:36

Stuart from ONE here (in case you couldn't tell from my highly imaginative user name) and very excited about my first ever Mumsnet post grin
A huge thanks to SWT for this great thread! Looking forward to the petition hand-in tomorrow at Downing Street - less than 20 hours to go for people to add their name (via the link two posts above this).
Thanks too for the interesting questions from a few of you, will get back with answers later.

SnailWhaleTail Thu 09-Jun-11 20:56:15

Yes, I did forget to add the plea for support and more names on the petition via this link
we are handing it in to Downing St at 1000 tomorrow.

The conference is an all day event on Monday with a selection of ministers pledging (hopefully) support and cash to the campaign. I will be adding the info and answers to question as we find out on Monday.

SnailWhaleTail Thu 09-Jun-11 21:10:08

Pram; that's a really interesting article, the Gates Foundation does indeed support GAVI and I believe Bill Gates will be speaking at the conference. The idea of 'philanthrocapitalism' is an interesting one and

I notice from the article the allusion to what you were talking about in terms of 'cuteness' although in many ways that may go some way to garnering popular support, I'll be interested to hear DCs speech on Monday.

StuartfromONE Thu 09-Jun-11 21:36:18

@Crumblemum Shaping markets and driving vaccine price reductions have always been a part of GAVI's strategic plan. By procuring vaccines in bulk through UNICEF and other mechanisms, GAVI ensures that there are viable markets to incentivize pharmaceutical companies to make cost-effective products. There's also been a growing number of personal commitments from pharmaceutical leaders (such as Andrew Witty of GSK) to playing a more engaged role in reducing prices to benefit the world's poor. Advocacy groups have also put important public pressure on the companies to reduce prices all along, and that has intensified this Spring ahead of the GAVI pledging conference.

@LindsayWagner It's an important question--vaccines alone are only 1 piece of the puzzle. Part of GAVI's budget for 2011-2015 includes financing for health systems strengthening (improving vaccine cold chains, supporting the health workforce, improving financial management, etc). To read more, visit

LindsayWagner Fri 10-Jun-11 09:35:59

Ooh thanks Stuart, I'll take a look at that.
SnailWhaleTail, good luck today! Are you taking a Big Bag in case you see a little, um, souvenir?
I've signed the petitition and love-bombed my friends with a request that they do the same. They're scared of me, so I'm sure they will wink

StuartfromONE Fri 10-Jun-11 12:24:34

Thats great LindsayWagner, thanks for love bombing all your friends! I'm not surprised they are scared, I too have a fearful admiration for the bionic woman smile.

SnailWhaleTail Fri 10-Jun-11 12:45:17

Am standing at Waterloo after the grand hand-in! 350,000 signatures on the petition and it was a joint hand in by me and some lovely ladies from Save the Children.

The Save the Children ladies were on Daybreak and will also be on ITV at lunchtime so look out for them talking about their trip to Mozambique following the vaccine process. We had lots of pics for the Evening Standard outside No10 and then banged on the very shiny door to pass the envelopes in. I quite enjoyed the s l o w hand-in to the Downing St bod. Dave wasn't receiving visitors so we didn't go in sadly.

Hopefully the petition will show the level of support that people have for 'smart aid' and the results after the conference on monday will be positive. I will be at the conference in the press Social Media room (?) and will take my antique laptop so that I can mumsnet the details of what's going on although I believe there is an embargo on posting figures until the big announcement. I will tweet pics from @snailwhaletail if you fance following me on Twitter and @GAVIAllience will also be on top of all the info too undoubtably.

LindsayWagner Fri 10-Jun-11 12:48:58

Brilliant! How exciting SWT, though shame you didn't get to collar the Camster (or pocket a tchotchke).
That sounds a VERY good number of sigs, I think? Though to be honest I've not got anything to compare it with..

Pram1nTheHall Fri 10-Jun-11 13:50:13

Whassa tchotchke?

Well done SWT. any pics?

Interesting news story today about generic anti-retroviral drugs - the story is that US/EU trade negotiators are going to drive generic manufacturers out of business. Will this be discussed at the conference?

LindsayWagner Fri 10-Jun-11 14:12:39

It's a gewgaw, Pram wink

SnailWhaleTail Fri 10-Jun-11 16:50:24

Stuart's blog and pic of the hand in at No10

I'm the idiot on the end who forgot to take her sunglasses of her head for the pics! Sadly no tchtchkes or gewgaws, we must have looked a shifty bunch as we were only allowed to hand the envelopes over from the doorstep!

Pram: I'll look up those stories, seems like a backward step but I've only seen headlines atm. I doubt that'll be discussed on monday as its mainly a pledging conference, I can't wait to hear what Bill Gates says TBH.

Gooseberrybushes Fri 10-Jun-11 17:19:31

At least one if not both of the vaccines is being sold at five per cent of normal retail price, which is the cost price. This is a 95pc profit margin normally. Thus this gesture costs the pharmaceutical companies nothing (for a great PR return). It is paid for by other customers.

CelestinaWarbeck Fri 10-Jun-11 17:31:55

Oh you look very glam. What was Natasha Kerplinky like?

SnailWhaleTail Fri 10-Jun-11 18:36:26

Gooseberry: How do you feel about that? What issues do you think that will raise in the future?

Celestina: you're too kind! About 1/2 hour I looked like a drowned rat walking to the tube after the heavens opened.

Gooseberrybushes Fri 10-Jun-11 19:02:24

I don't think these gestures should be accepted as glowing examples of generosity without questioning. There is a reason behind it - good publicity, and that's it. There is no "real" cost: of course, you could count the loss of the exploitative profit potential but that is probably less acheivable anyway through charities and in developing countries. So the pharmaceutical might as well make good out of bad, and sell it as a generous gesture. In all of this one shouldn't forget that such companies spend much more on marketing than they do on R and D: some studies of spend suggest twice as much. So all the pharmaceutical love-in's in the world shouldn't dent the cynical way we look at this.

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