Gates Foundation announces massive vaccine commitment
A decade ago at Davos, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda launched a global campaign to deliver vaccines and immunizations to fight disease in the developing world. On Friday at Davos, they turbocharged the effort, committing $10 billion over the next 10 years to the cause.
AP Photo/Keystone, Alessandro Della Bella
The commitment appears to be the largest single non-governmental commitment ever given. Two of the previous biggest grants, each for $750 million, were given by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, part of $4.5 billion it had spent on vaccines.
“We're essentially redoubling our commitment," Bill Gates said at a press conference, calling the fresh funding commitment "a great milestone."
He said the world "must make this the decade of vaccines.”
Gates used the forum, where government and business leaders gather, to urge greater support from both sectors. "We can have a lot of impact and a lot of success," working together, he said. He added that the financial and economic crisis of 2008 had caused some governments to slow increases in spending, but he urged them to do more.
The Gates Foundation estimated that by widening the distribution of vaccines in developing countries to 90 percent coverage, the effort could prevent the deaths of 7.6 million children under 5 by 2019. The foundation also projected that an additional 1.1 million children could be saved with the rapid introduction of a malaria vaccine beginning in 2014.
Melinda Gates, appearing with her husband, said vaccinations and immunizations have made a huge impact on disease eradication in the last decade.
"The vaccine pipeline is very robust," she said, meaning that more are being developed. "We will have a malaria vaccine in our lifetime." (Melinda Gates is a director of the Washington Post Co.)
The announcement -- perhaps the biggest actual news to emerge from the usual Davos rush of speeches, panels and soirees -- was made at a crowded press conference in a subterranean conference room below the main Forum hall.
This is the biggest single commitment that the Gates Foundation has ever announced. For comparison, the next-largest global health announcement was at Davos in 2006, when the Gateses committed more than $900 million over 10 years for the fight against turbuclosis. The next-largest pledge overall was back in 1999, when they gave $1 billion to the United Negro College Fund.
Posted by: ian807 | January 29, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: kentuckywoman2 | January 29, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: momj47 | January 29, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: HokiePokie | January 29, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: nditebeck | January 29, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: nditebeck | January 29, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: momj47 | January 29, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jfv123 | January 29, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ripvanwinkleincollege | January 29, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: LNER4472 | January 29, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: dino_saurus | January 29, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: hhedstrom1 | January 29, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ozpunk | January 29, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jk17 | January 29, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: setrjhytkytjefthtjhyju | January 29, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ripvanwinkleincollege | January 29, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.