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Large Donations Help GAVI Raise $4.3B, Exceeding Goal

“Large donations from the U.K., Norway and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation helped a global vaccine charity raise $4.3 billion at a summit Monday, exceeding its targets and allowing it to carry out all its immunization plans through 2015,” the Wall Street Journal reports. The U.K. pledged $1.34 billion to the GAVI Alliance, the Gates Foundation promised $1 billion and Norway offered $677 million (Whalen, 6/14).

“The United States, which has given more than $650 million in the past, pledged another $450 million, pending Congressional approval,” according to the New York Times (McNeil, 6/13). “Developing countries receiving support from GAVI agreed to triple their own matching commitments to vaccination programmes by $100m by 2015,” the Financial Times writes (Jack, 6/13).

The amount exceeds the $3.7 billion GAVI had hoped to raise, but some of the pledges are contingent on matching other donations, the New York Times reports.

GAVI’s goal is to immunize at least 250 million children by 2015, but it is unclear “how much the money will buy … because vaccine makers have been steadily lowering their prices as political pressure on them increases and as low-cost competitors, mostly from India, enter the field,” the newspaper notes (6/13). “Critics have argued GAVI needs to cut the prices paid for vaccines, tackle conflicts of interest on its board and improve efficiency,” the Financial Times writes (6/13).

According to the Wall Street Journal, “GAVI has rebuffed this criticism, saying it needs to work closely with drug companies to keep vaccine supplies flowing” (6/14). And in an interview with the Guardian, Bill Gates, whose foundation is a founding partner of GAVI, defended the inclusion of GlaxoSmithKline on the GAVI board, “saying the company didn’t vote on issues to do with vaccine prices,” the Guardian reports (Ford, 6/13).

The Guardian’s “Datablog” and Nature’s “newsblog” feature breakdowns of donors and pledges (6/13).

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