In a bid to develop and deliver affordable vaccines that will supplied to everyone globally including residents of low and middle-income countries, the Bill and Gates foundation has further pledged an additional sum of $70 million to achieve the objective.
According to Forbes, the latest pledge is sequel to more than $350 million pledges made earlier this year by the foundation to fund development of COVID-19 diagnostics, treatment and vaccines.
Speaking on the rationale behind the increased funding, Melinda Gates said: “Covid-19 anywhere is Covid-19 everywhere, that is why we have to ensure that everyone gets equal access to tests, drugs, and vaccines when they are available—no matter where you live in the world.”
Speaking further, she allayed fears over excessive interference by adding: “We’re trying to stitch different country efforts together.”
$50 million out of the pledged sum of $70 million, will go to the Covax Advance Market Committee of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
The committee is a financing mechanism through which Gavi works to secure equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines for 92 low- and middle-income countries.
The donation will unlock an additional $16 million from the U.K. government, part of a commitment the country made to match some donations to the committee.
The remaining $20 million of the Gates Foundation’s new funding is a grant to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, a foundation that coordinates the development of new vaccines.
The funding will support research and development of a new slate of Covid-19 vaccines.
The goal is for the next wave of vaccines to have greater potential for low cost production and temperature stability, to make them better suited for distribution in lower income countries.
The Gates Foundation is the world’s largest private charitable foundation, with a trust endowment of $49.8 billion.
The foundation has made nearly $55 billion in grants from its inception in 2000 through the end of 2019.