Donors to give $4bn for vaccines

2011-06-13 22:50

London - Donors promised to give a global vaccines body more than $4bn to help it protect millions of children from diseases like measles, pneumonia and yellow fever.

At a one-day pledging conference in London on Monday, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced the UK would provide $1.3bn of new funding up to 2015.

Australia announced on Sunday it would commit $211m to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation declared it would donate more than $1bn to the cause.

Gavi is an alliance of organisations including the Gates Foundation, the World Health Organisation, Unicef, major vaccine makers and others. The group buys injections for the world's poorest countries. They estimate about 2 million children die every year from diseases that could have been prevented with a shot.

"Today is an important moment in our collective commitment to protecting children in developing countries from disease," said Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia, in a statement.

Daniel Berman, a vaccines expert at Doctors Without Borders, said it was exciting so much money had been pledged and that many lives would be saved. But he questioned whether the millions of taxpayer dollars would be spent properly.

Executives from major vaccine companies also sit on Gavi advisory boards and influence their purchasing policies. GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer each get a subsidy of $225m to produce pneumonia vaccines - which are then purchased by Gavi for about $3.50 a dose.

The subsidies are intended to convince vaccine makers to produce injections that aren't normally profitable. But in 2008, Pfizer reported making nearly $3bn in sales from the shot. 

All children

"Why are we lining the pockets of big pharma like this?" Berman asked. "That just screams conflict of interest and corporate welfare to us."

Health officials hope to vaccinate more than 80 million children, saving about 1. 4 million lives in the next few years.

"For the first time in history, children in developing countries will receive the same vaccines against diarrhoea and pneumonia as children in rich countries," said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation, in a statement. "Together we must do more to ensure that all children - no matter where they live- have equal access to life-saving vaccines."

Previous research has been raised about whether vaccines bought by Gavi are actually making it to the children who need them.

Several years ago, a study published in the journal Lancet showed dozens of developing countries exaggerated figures on how many children were vaccinated against deadly diseases, allowing them to get more money from Gavi.

Researchers said only half as many children were immunised than was claimed by countries.

Other experts warned more money wouldn't solve the problem and that donating vaccines to countries with broken health systems might mean they just end up sitting in warehouses.

"We need to be mindful of the fact that investment in vaccines is not the magic answer to global health issues such as pneumonia and diarrhoea," said Sophie Harman, a public health expert at City University in London.

"Without proper funding commitments to health infrastructure...any investment in vaccines will be redundant."

- SAPA
Read more on:    us  |  health
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

13 summer safety tips

Summer time and the burning is easy. Get some great tips to ensure sunburn doesn't spoil your holiday!

 
 

I love summer.24

This sleeping bulldog is you during the holidays
This man's reaction to his Christmas present is priceless!
LOL! Cats destroying Christmas trees
Great tips for surviving the holidays

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may feel more sensitive than usual and there may be something or someone blocking the flow of things. There is a strong desire...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.