Microsoft founder Bill Gates has pledged to donate $10bn (£6.2bn) over the next 10 years to develop and deliver new vaccines. He said the aim would be to ensure immunization of 90% of children in the developing countries.
Mr Gates said that by increasing immunization coverage 7.6 million children’s lives could be saved in the next decade.
Bill Gates’ wife Melinda said that vaccines were number one priority at the Gates Foundation because with just a few doses, they can prevent deadly diseases for a lifetime. Over the past 10 years, the Foundation has committed $4.5bn (£2.78bn) to the development of vaccines.
Margaret Chan, head of the World Health Organization, said it was an unprecedented contribution and urged governments and private donors to add to the initiative. She said an additional two million children’s lives could be protected through widespread use of new vaccines.