Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Topics / Vaccines

Vaccines are one of the most effective health interventions ever developed. We are committed to research on new vaccines, and the delivery of existing and future vaccines to those who need them. We can’t do it alone though. Donors, private industry and other partners are critical to ensuring we can reach every child.

Learn more below and visit the program page for more details about our work in this area.

New WHO Report Provides Road Map for Effective Vaccine Introductions

In the mid-1990s, when I started working with the World Health Organization (and at that time, the Children’s Vaccine Initiative, a pre-cursor to the current GAVI Alliance) on trying to accelerate the uptake of the Hib meningitis vaccine, there were a lot of barriers and concerns. Often, we heard that the existing immunization system was a “house of cards” and that introducing a new vaccine would risk pulling down the whole system. On the other hand, proponents of moving faster (like me) wondered whether the introduction of a new vaccine might, rather than adding strain, actually energize the system and increase coverage. As it turns out, both of the groups debating the impact of new vaccine introduction on health systems in the 1990s were wrong. In a paper released by a WHO working group last year, Jessica Shearer and colleagues conducted a rigorous statistical analysis of all available data, and concluded that the introduction of new vaccines did not result in a pronounced effect on routine immunization coverage.

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Q&A with Ramesh Ferris: Polio-Free Certification of World Health Organization’s South-East Asia Region

Today the South-East Asia Region of the World Health Organization (WHO) was officially certified polio-free, the fourth of six WHO regions to receive the designation. With this milestone, 80% of the world’s population now lives in certified polio-free regions.

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A Time for Change for Vaccine Distribution

It was not easy to convince policy makers in Gaza to change from a system that had been followed for more than 30 years to a new and innovative approach. I admit that initially there was some resistance, but, with time came a readiness for higher quality of care to the community, particularly in rural areas at the last mile of service delivery. We changed our minds in Gaza and changed our distribution system. And our children are healthier for it.

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Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India - Solutions for India and the World

As we enter 2014, momentum is building to ensure that all people have access to safe, affordable sanitation. Now is the time to harness- and hasten-this momentum. That’s why we’re holding the Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India later this month.

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The Not So Funny Truth About Innovation

Innovation is neither a word we kid about here at the Gates Foundation, nor is it a value we take for granted. We are certain innovation is one of the most important tools we have to make the world a better place and, as Bill said recently, we believe “more innovation equals faster progress.” But how do we translate innovation into action?

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