News / Africa

Gates Foundation Pledges $10 billion for Vaccine Research

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid