11 December 2020 | News
Marking the end of a year focused on the scientific breakthroughs needed to end the pandemic
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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced that it will commit an additional $250 million to support the research, development, and equitable delivery of lifesaving tools in the global effort against COVID-19. Marking the end of a year focused on the scientific breakthroughs needed to end the pandemic, the foundation calls 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, Gates Foundation.
Getting these innovations to where they are needed will require the same level of planning, urgency, and collaboration it took to develop them. It will require manufacturing tests, doses of treatments, and vaccines quickly and safely; securing sufficient funding to buy and distribute them; organising logistical infrastructure and supply chains; preparing clinics and health workers to administer them; and sharing accurate information with communities so people understand and trust what they are receiving. Part of today's funding 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, 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.”
As the world prepares to embark on a global logistical challenge previously unmatched in scale and complexity, it 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. "Fortunately, reaching people with lifesaving tools is something the world knows how to do," said Melinda Gates.
Mark Suzman, CEO, Gates Foundation said, "Every institution with a role to play has to be generous now. Multilateral organisations, national governments, companies, and philanthropies—we all must invest in making sure the tests, drugs, and vaccines reach as many people as possible.”