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Gates foundation to donate $10b for vaccines

Associated Press / January 30, 2010

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DAVOS, Switzerland - The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will donate $10 billion over the next decade to research new vaccines and bring them to the world’s poorest countries, the Microsoft co-founder and his wife said yesterday.

Calling upon governments and business to also contribute, they said the money will produce higher immunization rates and aims to make sure that 90 percent of children are immunized against dangerous diseases such as diarrhea and pneumonia in poorer nations.

“We must make this the decade of vaccines,’’ Bill Gates said in a statement.

“Vaccines already save and improve millions of lives in developing countries.

“Innovation will make it possible to save more children than ever before.’’

Margaret Chan, head of the World Health Organization, called the Gates contribution unprecedented and urged governments and private donors to add to the initiative.

“An additional 2 million deaths in children under 5 years could be prevented by 2015 through widespread use of new vaccines and a 10 percent increase in global vaccination coverage,’’ said Chan.

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