Reuters Health Information (2003-07-15): Vaccine fund gets $1 billion to immunize kids
Vaccine fund gets $1 billion to immunize kids
Last Updated: 2003-07-15 16:07:43 -0400 (Reuters Health)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A public-private fund set up to gather money to vaccinate children around the world said on Tuesday it has received $1 billion in pledges.
Dr. Tore Godal, executive secretary of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, said more than 30 million children had benefited from nearly $250 million spent on new vaccines, infrastructure and supplies spent so far by GAVI.
"Approximately 30 million more of the world's children are now protected against hepatitis B, 4.3 million children are now protected against Haemophilus influenzae type b and 1.6 million children are now protected against yellow fever," the group said in a statement.
"Furthermore, GAVI estimates that countries have been able to provide basic vaccination to 8.3 million children who would otherwise have not been reached with any vaccines at all. It is estimated that as many as 300,000 deaths will be prevented because of the resources provided so far."
Members of GAVI include the United Nation's Children's Fund UNICEF, the World Health Organization, The World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and several governments.
Immunization experts say vaccines save 3 million lives a year. But GAVI said 33 million infants do not get vaccinated and 1.5 million of them will die before age 5 of a disease that could have been prevented by a vaccine.