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Princess of Asturias Awards


Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, 2020 Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation


Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has been bestowed with the 2020 Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation, as announced today by the Jury responsible for conferring said Award.

The Jury for this Award –convened by the Princess of Asturias Foundation– was chaired by Gustavo Suárez Pertierra and composed of Maite Arango García-Urtiaga, Eugenia Bieto Caubet, Francisco de Paula Bisbal Pons, Mitchell Codding, Beatriz Domínguez-Gil González, Paula Farias Huanqui, Enrique Fernández-Miranda y Lozana, Duke of Fernández-Miranda, Luis García Montero, Daniel López Acuña, Jerónimo López Martínez, Íñigo J. Losada Rodríguez, Sami Naïr, Juan Carlos del Olmo Castillejos and Gloria Fernández-Lomana Garcí (as acting secretary).

This candidature was put forward by Amador Menéndez Velázquez, Jury member for the 2020 Princess of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research.

Due to the health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was held online via video conference.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, is an international consortium made up of various public and private entities whose main objective is to facilitate access to vaccines against infectious diseases in the least developed countries. With special attention to childhood vaccination, Gavi (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization) estimates that, since its inception in 2000, it has immunized more than 760 million children worldwide, in addition to around 200 million more who have participated in sporadic vaccination campaigns. According to the organization’s studies, it is estimated that its work has prevented the death of more than 13 million people. Launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2000, Gavi was created on the initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation –2006 Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation–, with the support of UNICEF –2006 Prince of Asturias Award for Concord–, the World Health Organization –2009 Prince Award Asturias International Cooperation– and the World Bank.

Gavi’s operations network currently spans 73 countries and involves governments, associations, NGOs, development agencies, foundations, companies and other agencies worldwide. Over the last two decades, it has ensured that practically half of the global population of children is protected via vaccination routines. Thanks to its work, the number of vaccines available to the inhabitants of the poorest countries has increased from 5 to 17, including the pentavalent vaccine, which protects against five diseases (including diphtheria, tetanus and hepatitis B), as well as the rotavirus, pneumococcus, meningococcal, cholera, typhus, measles, rubella, yellow fever and polio vaccines. It has even assisted in the development of the first Ebola vaccine to receive approval from the European Union and prequalification from the World Health Organization. Its strategy also includes a long-term view of development aid, as the increase in life expectancy achieved through vaccination has an important economic return for the countries in which the organization operates. Its work is characterized by applying innovative solutions to funding methods and to a new way of approaching the productive model employed in this industry. Financial and institutional instruments created by Gavi, such as the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIM) and the Advance Market Commitment (AMC), have made it possible to raise billions of dollars and foster rapid progress in the research and production of new vaccines and their introduction in the market, controlling both the price and adequate volumes of production. Held online this June, Gavi’s third donor pledging conference, the Global Vaccine Summit, saw governments, companies and institutions commit to contributing a total of 8,800 million dollars –50 million from the Government of Spain– to immunize more than 300 million children in the world’s poorest countries by 2025. Gavi’s work contributes directly to the achievement of 14 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and aims to reach the figure of 1.1 billion immunized minors and 22 million deaths prevented by 2025. This year, Gavi has allocated more than $200 million to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic in developing countries, mainly in Africa and Asia.

The Geneva-based organization created the Vaccine Hero Award in 2018, which it grants annually to entities and individuals for their outstanding work in support of this alliance’s global vaccination mission. Gavi received the Lasker-Bloomberg Public Service Award (USA) in 2019. As stated in the Regulations, the Princess of Asturias Awards are aimed at rewarding “the scientific, technical, cultural, social and humanitarian work carried out at an international level by individuals, institutions or groups of individuals or institutions”. In keeping with these principles, the Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation shall be aimed at recognizing “individual or collective work, in cooperation with another or others, to develop and promote public health, universal education, the protection and defence of the environment, as well as the economic, cultural and social advancement of peoples.”

This year a total of 34 from 18 different countries, were nominated for this award.

This is the last of the eight Princess of Asturias Awards to be bestowed this year, in what is now their fortieth edition. The Princess of Asturias Awards for Concord went to Spanish health workers on the front line against COVID-19, the Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts went to composers Ennio Morricone and John Williams, the Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities was granted to the Guadalajara International Book Fair and the Hay Festival of Literature & Arts, the Princess of Asturias Award for Social Sciences went to Turkish economist Dani Rodrik, the Princess of Asturias Award for Sports was granted to rally driver Carlos Sainz, the Princess of Asturias Award for Literature went to Canadian writer Anne Carson and the Princess of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research was granted to Yves Meyer, Ingrid Daubechies, Terence Tao and Emmanuel Candès.

Each of the Princess of Asturias Awards comprises a Joan Miró sculpture representing and symbolizing the Awards, a cash prize of 50,000 euros, a diploma and an insignia.

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