Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, spends $35 to fully immunize a child. But it would spend $36 or $37 per child if that extra investment meant better tracking and therefore savings over time. Multiply an extra $1 or $2 by the number of children for whom Gavi purchases vaccines and you get the kind of scale that Silicon Valley is looking for.

In a letter to Silicon Valley technologists, investors, and academics, Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, explained that the public-private global health partnership is on a five-year mission to scale up its work to protect an additional 300 million children by 2020. “Part of this will involve Gavi significantly investing in new technologies to support logistics, data analytics, and digital identity, as part of a drive to modernize immunization, primary health care systems, and vaccine delivery in growth markets,” he wrote in an invitation to a discussion and lunch that took place in Menlo Park, California, last Tuesday. Following careful planning and preparation, including several visits ahead of time by Gavi staff, this event in Silicon Valley marked the launch of a series of events designed to identify partners who can help the vaccine alliance to leverage technology in order to increase access to immunization in poor countries.

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