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Global Community Should Ensure ‘All Children Have Access To All Essential Vaccines’

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Extending the promise of health to all children, everywhere
Chris Elias, president of the Global Development Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…By helping children in low- and middle-income countries avoid disabling and life-threatening diseases, we are ensuring that hundreds of millions of people will have the opportunity to lead a healthy, productive life. That’s why vaccines are one of the smartest investments we can make. … [W]hat can we do to sustain this incredible progress? First, we need to finish off vaccine-preventable diseases whenever and wherever possible. And with polio, it’s more than possible: it’s within our reach. … So far this year, only five polio cases have been reported worldwide, and it has been successfully eliminated from all but three countries — Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. … We are closer than ever to eradicating polio. … But we can’t stop there. We must double down and ensure that all children have access to all essential vaccines. … The nations of the world can, and must, do more to ensure that children everywhere are protected from the world’s most dangerous infectious diseases. Until we make that commitment, all of us will be vulnerable to the cost of inaction” (4/27).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.