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

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid