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Friday, 10 June 2011

Commission announces an extra €10 million to provide vaccines

New funding to help immunize millions of people against preventable diseases will be pledged on Monday, 13 June, by EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs. During the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (GAVI) Conference in London, the Commissioner will announce the pledge towards the US$ 3.7 billion (or €2.6 billion) total which GAVI has said it needs to vaccinate nearly 250 million children over the next five years. This is expected to save almost 4 million lives. This new funding will add to the more than half a billion Euro that the Commission spends on health in developing countries every year. Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said: "It is shameful that in the 21st century, nearly 2 million children die each year from diseases which could be prevented by a simple vaccine. That's why I am pleased to announce our new commitment. We are also determined to support national health systems in the developing countries – this is the only way to create sustainable conditions for treating patients all over the world." The European Commission has already pledged 20 million euros for GAVI between 2011 and 2013. This builds on its previous commitment of €220 million to support immunization programmes; €53.4 million of which was spent through the alliance. The additional money pledged will go towards vaccines for the two biggest childhood killers; pneumonia and diarrhoea, as well as for areas where vaccines are new or currently underused such as rubella, typhoid and meningitis. On 5th April, Commissioner Piebalgs also met with Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to discuss how the Commission could work with the Gates Foundation to increase access to vaccines for some of the world's poorest people.

Source: European Commission