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Cardin’s push for childhood vaccinations is exactly right | READER COMMENTARY
May 22, 2024


By: Deidree Bennett

Even as health systems continue to recover from the impacts of the pandemic, historic and steady investments in global health over the past few decades are delivering astounding returns. A new United Nations report shows that the global death rate for children under five has been halved since 2000, falling below 5 million for the first time ever.

This historic milestone can — and should – be celebrated but our work is far from over as 4.9 million children died before their 5th birthday in 2022, most of them from causes that could have been prevented or treated.

No child should die of a preventable disease. That’s why I support the work of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which helps protect kids from deadly diseases by promoting access to routine immunizations for measles, cholera, HPV, Ebola, and — most recently — malaria. Since 2000, Gavi has helped prevent 17.3 million deaths around the world (“Continued U.S. investment in life-saving vaccines is essential,” May 17).

I want to thank U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin for sponsoring a resolution in support of Gavi so it can continue its life-saving work and I hope to see other lawmakers follow suit. Investing in Gavi is a strong sign of this country’s commitment to global health security and helps leverage support we need from other donor countries to create a safer, healthier world for everyone.

The writer is a volunteer for The ONE Campaign which seeks to end extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030.