Gateses' vaccine boost

By United Press International  |  Jan. 29, 2010 at 8:28 AM
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DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged $10 billion for vaccines to fight disease among the world's needy children.

Bill Gates, speaking Friday at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, said the cost of vaccines "is tiny and yet it saves more lives than any other component of a healthcare system." He said a computer model suggested 8 million lives would be saved by the increased availability of vaccines.

Gates, the world's richest man who made his fortune through the Microsoft software company, set a target of 90 percent of the children in the world being inoculated against diseases such as diphtheria, measles and polio.

The funds will be used to aid the development of new vaccines. Gates noted there isn't likely to be a vaccine against tuberculosis or AIDS in the next 10 years but there is a malaria vaccine in development.

The Gates Foundation gift will be used in the further development and delivery of the medicines.

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