The Decade of Vaccines is Upon Us
Feb 01, 2010

By Amy Pisani
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help people all over the world lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, they focus on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty.
The Gates Foundation has once again proven that their words are more than simple rhetoric with the recent announcement of a pledge of over $10 billion over the next ten years aimed at helping research, develop and deliver vaccines for the world’s poorest countries.  The Gates have already committed $4.5 billion for vaccines through the Foundation.  “We must make this the decade of vaccines,” said Bill Gates. “Vaccines already save and improve millions of lives in developing countries.  Innovation will make it possible to save more children than ever before.” 
The Gates anticipate that their donation, combined with commitments from U.S. and foreign governments can prevent the deaths of nearly 7.6 million children under age five from 2010-2019.  Bill Gates made it clear that they also need the increased generosity of rich-world governments, increased commitments by the developing nations who need to improve the quality of delivery systems as well as prioritize vaccines within their budgets, and support from other public-private partnerships including the drug companies.  “They need to put their best people on the projects and we need their expertise in order to be successful”.
“Vaccines are a miracle-with just a few doses, they can prevent deadly diseases for a lifetime,” stated Melinda Gates during the official announcement made during the World Economic Forum in Switzerland January 29th.  The Gates’ also stressed the need for rapid introduction of malaria vaccine beginning in 2014 and the need for tuberculosis vaccines which could save millions more lives in the future.  “We’ve made vaccines our number-one priority at the Gates Foundation because we’ve seen firsthand their incredible impact on children’s lives” said Melinda Gates. 
Learn more about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and view video coverage of this unprecedented commitment to vaccines by following the link the Gates website here.

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