Bloomberg’s Phil Serafino and Yuriy Humber reported on Bill and Melinda Gates’ pledge to commit $10 billion of their foundation’s resources over the coming decade to developing vaccines for the world’s poorest countries. It will come in addition to the $4.5 billion the foundation has already committed to vaccine research and delivery. Gates called on governments and other organizations to join the effort, using a Johns Hopkins model to predict significant impacts.
By vaccinating 90 percent of the population in developing countries, the deaths of about 7.6 million children under the age of 5 could be prevented in the next decade, according to the Gates foundation. An additional 1.1 million lives would be saved by the introduction of a malaria vaccine beginning in 2014, the foundation said.
That malaria vaccination, developed by GlaxoSmithKline, is expected to be ready for patent by 2012.
As part of a string of interviews that accompanied the release of Gates’ annual foundation letter, the heavyweight philanthropist told CNET’s Ina Fried that he has been surprised to find that vaccine distribution has turned out to be every bit as challenging as vaccine development. He also discussed his wide-ranging foundation-related travels and initiatives.