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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid