A new collaboration has been announced during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland between Project Last Mile and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to improve vaccine delivery systems via Gavi’s INFUSE platform.
INFUSE – Innovation for Uptake, Scale and Equity in Immunisation – helps improve vaccine delivery systems by connecting high-impact, proven innovations with the countries that need them most. It then “infuses” the innovations with capital and expertise to help take them to scale.
The collaboration will bring catalytic funding and private sector thinking from the Coca-Cola ecosystem to the INFUSE platform, at a time when the number of non-immunized children (zero-dose children) is growing, and the number of people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 remains low. In 2020, 23 million children missed out on basic childhood vaccines through routine health services, the highest number since 2009 and 3.7 million more than in 2019 (UNICEF, 2021). Pandemic disruptions continue to prevent equitable access to immunizations putting millions of children at increased risk of contracting a vaccine-preventable disease.
This new collaboration will accelerate INFUSE’s impact by helping to transform how Gavi-supported countries and innovators leverage private sector thinking to connect needs to solutions.
“We are thrilled to see The Coca-Cola Foundation and Project Last Mile bring funding and expertise to INFUSE 2.0. We value their leadership to support the scaling of cutting-edge technologies for immunisation. We believe the private sector and innovations are playing an ever-growing role in safeguarding immunisation systems against further shocks,” explained Marie-Ange Saraka-Yao, Managing Director, Resource Mobilisation, Private Sector Partnerships and Innovative Finance.
Through funding from The Coca-Cola Foundation’s Stop the Spread grant, Project Last Mile will allocate USD$1.5 million to catalyze the initiative. Project Last Mile will also apply its Coca-Cola system expertise to help innovators scale solutions that improve access, availability and uptake of immunizations, including but not limited to COVID-19 vaccines.
“We are pleased to announce this new collaboration between Project Last Mile and Gavi INFUSE, made possible by a USD$1.5 million grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation to Project Last Mile,” explained Adrian Ristow, Executive Director of Project Last Mile. “With Project Last Mile already having reached over 40 million lives through more than 40 projects in Africa in partnership with USAID, The Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, PEPFAR, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this is an exciting milestone in Project Last Mile’s journey, in supporting the scaling of innovation for immunization.”
Moving forward, INFUSE 2.0 aspires to unlock additional investment and private sector partnerships, leveraging each other’s strengths to scale innovations that save lives. New partners interested in joining this effort to scale INFUSE 2.0 and build equitable and resilient health systems can contact us.