New collection by more than 30 world-renowned artists illustrates the global impact of vaccines

Vaccines are one of the greatest advancements in the history of health. They have saved millions of lives, and resulted in better health and opportunity for families everywhere. But despite great progress, one in five children today do not have access to the life-saving vaccines they need.

The stories behind this success and the future promise of immunization must be told. They are stories of risk and bravery, the passion and dedication of scientists, the love of parents, and the determination of health workers.

The Art of Saving a Life is a collection of stories about how vaccines continue to change the course of history. It offers an opportunity to hear, see and feel the tremendous impact of immunization, and to energize us in the global effort to protect every child from life-threatening disease.

These stories are told by more than 30 world-renowned photographers, painters, sculptors, writers, filmmakers, and musicians to impress urgency on the global community to reach all children with the life-saving vaccines they need.

The project is commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


More than 30 world-renowned artists created representations focused on the past, present and future impact of immunization – each piece is drawn from the individual artist’s inspiration.

• Alexia Sinclair, Australia
• Angélique Kidjo, Benin
• Annie Leibovitz, United States
• Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nigeria
• Christoph Niemann, Germany
• Darryl Cunningham, United Kingdom
• David Chancellor, United Kingdom
• Deborah Kelly, Australia
• Evgeny Parfenov, Russia
• Fatoumata Diabaté, Mali
• Francisco Toledo, Mexico
• Frank Viva, Canada
• Geraldine Brooks, Australia/United States
• Glen Wexler, United States
• GMB Akash, Bangladesh
• Graciela Iturbide, Mexico
• Han Feng, China/United States
• Katerina Athanasopoulou, Greece 
• Katharine Dowson, United Kingdom
• Lang Lang, China
• Luc Jacquet, France
• Mary Ellen Mark, United States
• Mauro Perucchetti, Italy
• Mia Farrow, United States
• Olafur Eliasson, Denmark/Iceland
• Playing for Change, United States
• Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, India
• Sebastião Salgado, Brazil
• Socorro Acioli, Brazil
• Sophie Blackall, Australia/United States
• Thomas Ganter, Germany
• Vik Muniz, Brazil
• Yegna, Ethiopia
• Yiyun Li, United States
• Yuna, Malaysia
• Zim&Zou, France


Vaccines save millions of lives each year and are among the most cost-effective health interventions ever developed. Immunization has led to the eradication of smallpox, a 75 percent reduction in childhood deaths from measles over the past decade, and the near-eradication of polio.

Despite these great strides, there remains an urgent need to reach all children with the life-saving vaccines they need. One in five children worldwide are not fully protected with even the most basic vaccines. As a result, an estimated 1.5 million children die each year—one every 20 seconds—from vaccine-preventable diseases such as pneumonia and rotavirus. Tens of thousands of other children suffer from severe or permanently disabling illnesses.

Vaccines are proven and we can save more lives by getting children, regardless of where they are born, the vaccines they need.

We have the opportunity to build on the fantastic momentum in the last few decades by increasing awareness around the value of vaccines. We are working with partners from developing country governments, civil society, research institutions, the pharmaceutical industry, donors, multilateral organizations, and others to reach millions more children with life-saving vaccines.

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