Gates Foundation pledges additional $250 million to deliver coronavirus vaccines; total Covid funding at $1.75 billion

This funding will support continued innovation to develop tests, treatments, and vaccines that are easier to scale up in different, including low-resource-settings
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.(File photo)
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.(File photo)
Updated on Dec 10, 2020 02:08 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent | Edited by Smriti Sinha

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced it will commit an additional $250 million to strengthen global efforts to end the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

This brings the foundation’s total funding to the Covid-19 response to $1.75 billion, with today’s $250 million representing the largest single pledge. This funding will support continued innovation to develop tests, treatments, and vaccines that are easier to scale up in different, including low-resource-settings.

The commitment will also support the delivery of new Covid-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. The foundation also called for global commitments to making these innovations available in 2021 to everyone who needs them. “Everyone, everywhere deserves to benefit from the science developed in 2020,”said Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation. “We are confident that the world will get better in 2021, but whether it gets better for everyone depends on the actions of the world’s leaders and their commitment to deliver tests, treatments, and vaccines to the people who need them, no matter where they live r how much money they have,” she said.

It will enable countries to use cutting- edge technology and delivery systems to plan and implement the rollout of vaccines. It will also support efforts to engage communities in the process to increase trust and improve communication about new Covid-19 interventions.

“Thanks to the ingenuity of the global scientific community, we are achieving the exciting medical breakthroughs needed to end the pandemic,” said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation. “We have new drugs and more potential vaccines than we could have expected at the start of the year. But these innovations will only save lives if they get out into the world.”

To address the logistical challenge previously unmatched in scale and complexity, the world can draw on the expertise of global organisations like Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Global Fund, which have collaborated with governments to deliver vaccines, tests, and treatments against infectious diseases to people in lower-income countries for 20 years.

“The next phase of fighting this pandemic will be much costlier than the initial development of safe and effective vaccines. Our commitment today is only a fraction of what is needed and will be focused on the areas where philanthropy can best add value,” said Gates.

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Saturday, December 04, 2021