News / Africa

Gates Foundation Pledges $10 billion for Vaccine Research

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Friday pledged $10 billion dollars over the next 10 years to research and develop new vaccines.  The announcement came at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. 

It was 10 years ago that Bill and Melinda Gates first made their commitment to vaccine research.  It led to the creation of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, or GAVI.

“Over these last 10 years, the success of both increasing vaccine coverage and getting new vaccines out has been phenomenal,” he says. 

Redoubling Commitment

“Over this last decade we’ve spent $4.5 billion on vaccine research and delivery.  And today we’re announcing a commitment over this next decade, which we think of as a decade of vaccines having incredible impact – we’re announcing we’ll spend over $10 billion on vaccines,” he says.

Gates Foundation Pledges $10 billion for Vaccine Research
Gates Foundation Pledges $10 billion for Vaccine Research



Despite the amount of the foundation’s pledge, Gates says it’s not enough to develop all the vaccines needed in the developing world.

“We need the increased generosity of the rich world governments.  The amount of aid that goes to health and vaccines in particular has gone up and it needs to go up even more.  We need help from the developing countries as they put priority on this in their budgets and the quality of their delivery systems to get out and reach every child,” he says.


And he calls for more public/private partnerships that include the major pharmaceutical companies.

Life saving and cost effective

Melinda Gates explains why the Gates Foundation is renewing its pledge to support vaccine research and development.

"It’s really because of what Bill and I have seen that’s been possible – the amazing life-saving advances of this technology of vaccine and the success of the GAVI Alliance and what they’ve really done the last 10 years,” she says.

She says there used to be much lag time between the time a vaccine appeared in the U.S. or Europe and the when they became available in poor countries.

“That amount of time is starting to come down.  We were also quite surprised when we first started looking at vaccines – that they were such a life-saving advance.   They were so effective and cost effective and yet immunization rates were on the decline if you look back 10 years ago,” she says.

However, she says in the last nine years, immunization rates – for such diseases as diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis – have risen sharply.

“The vaccine rate has jumped worldwide from 66 percent to 79 percent.  That means more children who are staying alive because of these basic vaccines, Gates says.

 Polio, once in 125 countries, is now endemic in four, she says, and is on the verge of eradication.

Melinda Gates says with the investment by the foundation and its partners, the deaths of eight million children would be prevented over the next nine years.  She is also confident a malaria vaccine will eventually be developed.

Julian Lob-Levyt, chief executive officer of GAVI, says there have been many successes since the alliance’s creation.

“More than 250 million children have been immunized. And the latest data that we’re releasing today from WHO (World Health Organization) five million deaths have been prevented with that kind of support.  Those are phenomenal sums.  In sub-Saharan Africa now nearly 80 percent of kids are getting their three shots of vaccines,” he says. 

The announcement by the Gates Foundation was made at the World Economic Forum, which runs through January 31st. 
 

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs