9 Best Charities That Advance Vaccine Development and Adoption (Complete 2024 List)

9 Best Charities That Advance Vaccine Development and Adoption (Complete 2024 List)

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Alycia O'Dell

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Immunizations have helped to avert an estimated 37 million deaths from 2000-2019 alone. Yet, as recently as 2022, the world was in the midst of the largest backslide in childhood vaccination rates in over 30 years, mainly due to vaccine hesitancy and lack of access. Furthermore, the emergence of new infectious diseases like COVID-19, and the re-emergence of diseases like Group C Meningitis, make the development of new vaccines crucial to global health. So, we had to ask: What are the best charities that advance vaccine development and adoption?

The best charities that advance vaccine development and adoption are the International Vaccine Institute and PATH. Organizations such as GAVI and Immunize.org work to raise immunization rates by improving equitable access to vaccines and disseminating information.

Whether you want to ensure that low- and middle-income countries carry adequate supplies to vaccinate their patients, fund research into new vaccines, or stop the spread of misinformation, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities that advance vaccine development and adoption are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to donate. 

Here’s What All the Best Charities That Advance Vaccine Development and Adoption Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, impact, and transparency ratings, and achievements.

The majority of these charities are based in the US, but most operate internationally to advance vaccine development and adoption.

Many of these charities focus on driving equitable access to immunization. Others focus their efforts on the discovery of new vaccines. 

Yet, they all share a common goal: to advance vaccine development and adoption.

These Are the 9 Best Charities That Advance Vaccine Development and Adoption in 2024

Below are our favorite water, sanitation & hygiene “WASH” charities (you can click on their link to directly jump to their section in this article):

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

1

International Vaccine Institute: From Lab to Licensure

Logo for International Vaccine Institute
Vaccination makes life possible | We are IVI

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Their transparency & ratings:

The International Vaccine Institute holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.

Vaccination makes life possible.

International Vaccine Institute

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What they do:

The International Vaccine Institute focuses on developing and distributing vaccines against infectious diseases affecting the world’s most vulnerable populations. Their approach is based on 3 components: research, partnerships, and capacity-building. Their research branch works to discover vaccines that are easily produced, administered, effective, and low-cost. Next, they partner with qualified vaccine manufacturers to develop vaccines, providing technology transfer, and technical and financial support. Finally, they facilitate the introduction of new vaccines in developing countries by generating data about the need for vaccinations and sharing this data with donors, decision-makers, and governments. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the International Vaccine Institute has helped millions of vulnerable people protect themselves from infectious diseases. To date, they have developed 2 vaccines from lab to licensure, the Oral Cholera Vaccine and Vi-DT typhoid conjugate vaccine, at a relatively lower cost ($28 million and $29 million, respectively) than the average ($500 million). Furthermore, more than 100 million doses of their Oral Cholera Vaccine have been used in public vaccinations across 20 countries. And, through their own campaigns, the International Vaccine Institute has vaccinated over 1 million people across Africa and Asia.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the International Vaccine Institute through their website. You can also support the charity by attending an event

2

PATH: Innovators in Healthcare

Logo for PATH
PATH is a global nonprofit improving public health.

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Their transparency & ratings:

PATH holds a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, as well as a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator.

Better health moves humanity forward.

PATH

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What they do:

PATH advances vaccine development and adoption by bringing together public- and private-sector partners to accelerate the development and introduction of lifesaving vaccines. For example, their Malaria Vaccine Initiative unites partners in private industry, government, and academia to develop and deliver malaria vaccines. They also partnered with two leading typhoid prevention organizations to focus attention on the burden and impact of typhoid and promote typhoid conjugate vaccine adoption. Furthermore, they support the development, optimization, and introduction of vaccines against the two deadliest infectious diseases for children under age five: pneumonia and diarrheal diseases.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, PATH has been a leader in healthcare innovation, including vaccine development and adoption. For example, in 2001, they partnered with WHO to develop a vaccine for group A meningitis, leading to the development of MenAfriVac. Furthermore, in 2010, they introduced it in Burkina Faso, vaccinating nearly every person in the country between the ages of 1 and 29 years old within 10 days. Since its introduction, more than 350 million people have received MenAfriVac, and it has been adopted as part of routine infant immunization programs in some African countries. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to PATH through their website. You can also support the charity by joining their Catalyst Circle.

3

Gavi: Advancing Vaccine Equity

Logo for Gavi
My Vaccine, My Health by Makida El-Husseini

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Their transparency & ratings:

Gavi holds a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

Saving lives and protecting people’s health by increasing equitable and sustainable use of vaccines.

Gavi

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What they do:

Gavi advances vaccine adoption by improving access to new and under-used vaccines for millions of vulnerable children. They operate by distributing grants to eligible countries for various types and levels of support. For example, countries can apply for health systems and immunization-strengthening support to help enhance health equity. They also provide vaccine support against 19 infectious diseases including COVID-19, Ebola, and Malaria. Furthermore, their eligibility, transition, and co-financing policies help ensure that countries can independently sustain high immunization coverage and ensure access to vaccines.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Gavi has vaccinated over 1 billion children in 78 lower-income countries against infectious diseases, averting more than 17.3 million future deaths. For example, in 2022 alone, they immunized over 68 million children. And, the same year, $162 million was contributed by countries towards the co-financing of Gavi-supported vaccines. Moreover, their sustainability policies resulted in 54 vaccine programs becoming self-financed by countries previously relying on Gavi support.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Gavi through their website. You can also support the charity by subscribing to their newsletter

4

Immunize.org: Raising Immunization Rates through Education

Logo for Immunize.org
Protecting Health: Saving Lives

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Their transparency & ratings:

Immunize.org holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.

Save lives, immunize!

Immunize.org

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What they do:

Immunize.org encourages vaccine adoption by ensuring that healthcare professionals and the public are up-to-date on all aspects of vaccination. For example, their flagship site, Immunize.org, provides resources for healthcare professionals such as how to address vaccine anxiety, screening checklists, and Vaccine Information Statements. They also include information on official guidance from organizations such as the CDC, WHO, and the FDA. And, they operate websites that offer information for the general public, as well as immunization coalitions.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Immunize.org has become a go-to resource for reliable and comprehensive information about every aspect of vaccination. For example, healthcare professionals download over 8 million ready-to-copy informational documents annually, while their website for the general public receives over 2,000 visits each day. Moreover, news and media outlets rely on Immunize.org experts to discuss vaccines and vaccine policies, such as vaccine exemptions, COVID-19, and the RSV vaccine.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Immunize.org through their website. You can also support the charity by shopping their branded merchandise or by subscribing to their weekly newsletter, IZ Express

5

International AIDS Vaccine Initiative: Beyond AIDS Research

Logo for International AIDS Vaccine Initiative
IAVI Annual Report 2022

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Their transparency & ratings:

The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, as well as a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

Translating science into global health impact.

International AIDS Vaccine Initiative

⚒️

What they do:

The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative discovers and develops vaccines and other biomedical innovations for infectious diseases through various activities. For example, their clinical and epidemiology research and their discovery and development laboratories focus on how to generate protective immune responses against HIV and other infectious diseases. As another example, their Product Development Center helps new vaccines and other biomedical innovations transition from the laboratory to clinical trials. And, they are a founding member of the Coalition to Accelerate and Support Prevention Research (CASPR), a collaborative network dedicated to advancing biomedical HIV prevention research.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative has remained dedicated to their mission to translate science into global health impact. For example, their Product Development Center has supported 53 biologics candidates, over half of which advanced to clinical trials. And, they have trained more than 900 scientists in low-or-middle-income countries in Good Clinical Practices and Good Clinical Laboratory Practices necessary for conducting clinical trials to the highest standards.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative through Grapevine, or by donating to one of their donors, like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. You can also support the charity by subscribing to their newsletter or following their social media

6

WHO Foundation: Financial Backing for WHO and Partners

Logo for WHO Foundation
What would Health for All look like in the future?

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Their transparency & ratings:

According to their 2022 Financial Report, charitable activities accounted for about 60% of their total expenditures, while about 40% went toward operating costs.

The WHO Foundation shares the same vision as WHO: A world in which all people attain the highest possible level of health.

WHO Foundation

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What they do:

The WHO Foundation supports the mission of WHO to achieve the highest standard of health and well-being, including advancing vaccine development and adoption. For example, they launched the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, which funded projects including vaccine development and adoption. They also launched the Go Give One campaign to ensure global access to the COVID-19 vaccine. And, they provide direct funding support to WHO’s partners, including GAVI, CEPI, and UNICEF.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their launch, the WHO Foundation has helped WHO and their partners prevent the spread of infectious diseases around the world. For example, in 2021, their COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund raised over $256 million and resourced more than 30 projects in multiple countries. In the same year, their Go Give One campaign raised $19 million toward COVAX, resulting in over 2 billion vaccine doses distributed across 144 countries.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the WHO Foundation through their website. You can also support the foundation by following their social media or by pursuing a career

7

UNICEF: For Every Child in Danger

Logo for UNICEF
75 Years Working For Every Child | UNICEF

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Their transparency & ratings:

UNICEF USA holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, as well as a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

For every child, every opportunity.”

UNICEF

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What they do:

UNICEF’s Immunization Program advances vaccine development and adoption on several fronts. For example, they improve and sustain the demand for vaccines and vaccine equity by utilizing social and behavioral data to create local strategies with communities. They also partner with public and private organizations to steer investment toward new vaccines and technologies to expand the reach of immunization programs. Furthermore, their supply division secures access to affordable and sustainable vaccines by relying on three pillars: forecasting, financing, and contracting.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, UNICEF has helped keep millions of children safe from vaccine-preventable infectious diseases. For example, in 2022 alone, they delivered 3.4 billion vaccines to 109 countries around the world. In the same year, they vaccinated 77.9 million children against measles, over 27 million of whom lived in countries facing humanitarian crises. And, they continued to lead supply and procurement for COVAX, the most ambitious vaccination campaign in history, delivering 977.8 million COVID-19 vaccines across 143 countries.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to UNICEF through their website. You can also support the charity by purchasing items from their online shop or by volunteering.

8

Vaccinate Your Family: Information and Access

Logo for Vaccinate Your Family
How Do Vaccines Work?

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Their transparency & ratings:

Vaccinate Your Family holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, as well as a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

To protect people of all ages from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Vaccinate Your Family

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What they do:

Vaccinate Your Family’s programs strive to reach every person in the US with science-based information and a pathway to immunization. For example, their Pay Online Tool provides resources to help those in need figure out how to pay for vaccinations. As another example, Vaccinate Your Family’s SQUAD is an advocacy program that trains, mobilizes, and empowers volunteers to share their personal stories to encourage immunization culture. Furthermore, they partnered with the US Department of Agriculture’s Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program to ensure that staff review each participating child’s vaccination records and provide resources to mothers accordingly.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, Vaccinate Your Family has both led and supported countless initiatives to increase vaccination rates. For example, in 2022 alone, their partnership with WIC connected almost 7 million children and pregnant women with vaccination information and services. In the same year, they shared SQUAD stories with over 20 million viewers via their satellite media tour, and trained more than 200 community health workers through their Vaccine Community Navigator Training.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Vaccinate Your Family through their website. You can also support the charity by becoming an online advocate or setting up a fundraiser

9

American Foundation for AIDS Research: Ending the AIDS Epidemic Through Research

Logo for American Foundation for AIDS Research
amfAR: Innovation, Collaboration, Inspiration

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Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives the American Foundation for AIDS Research a 3-star rating. 

Making AIDS history.”

American Foundation for AIDS Research

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What they do:

The American Foundation for AIDS Research advances medical research, including vaccine development, by awarding grants to researchers working to eradicate AIDS. For example, their Mathilde Krim Fellowships in Biomedical Research program helps new researchers investigate novel ideas by helping them transition from their doctoral program to an independent research career. As another example, their Target Grants fund teams of researchers working to cure AIDS by eliminating infected cells left behind by existing treatments. Furthermore, through their TREAT Asia program, they run a network connecting clinics, research institutions, hospitals, and civil society to ensure the safe and effective delivery of HIV treatment across Asia and the South Pacific.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the American Foundation for AIDS Research has invested nearly $635 million in their programs and awarded 3,800 grants to advance AIDS research. For example, in 2021 alone, they supported 30 research teams and funded $600,000 toward research on gene therapy to cure HIV. In the same year, their TREAT Asia program was awarded a $15 million renewal grant by the National Institutes of Health to continue its research and treatment efforts across Asia and the South Pacific. Their network currently consists of 21 pediatric and 21 adult sites across the region. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the American Foundation for AIDS Research via their website. You can also host a fundraiser or purchase merchandise from their online store.

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities that advance vaccine development and adoption. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarize yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the websites of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. The charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to advancing vaccine development and adoption – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

Illustration of a signature for Alycia

PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

The way we think about charity is dead wrong | Dan Pallotta

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