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Bill Gates pledges $10 bln for vaccines for poor

January 29, 2010

Microsoft founder Bill Gates announced Friday that his Foundation will commit 10 billion dollars over the next decade to research and deliver vaccines to the world's poorest countries.

"We must make this the decade of vaccines," said Gates at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. "Vaccines already save and improve millions of lives in developing countries.

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

Increased vaccination could save more than eight million children by 2020, he added, but said more money was needed and called on governments and the private sector to do more.

"Increased investment in vaccines by governments and the private sector could help developing countries dramatically reduce child mortality by the end of the decade," Bill and Melinda Gates said in a statement.

Melinda Gates, who heads the couple's Foundation with her husband, added: "Vaccines are a miracle -- with just a few doses, they can prevent deadly diseases for a lifetime.

"We've made vaccines our number-one priority at the Gates Foundation because we've seen firsthand their incredible impact on children's lives," she added at the annual meeting of political and business leaders in the Swiss ski resort.

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