Gates and GAVI gear up global vaccine initiative

The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, which is backed by a host of international health groups and the Gates Foundation, is preparing a huge new initiative to vaccinate millions of children in developing nations. The program will provide vaccinations against cervical cancer, cholera, typhoid, meningitis A, rabies, Japanese encephalitis and rubella in the world's 73 poorest countries. The alliance, which now calls itself GAVI, says that their work has saved the lives of three million children over the past eight years. And in their new program GAVI plans to also try to negotiate lower prices for cervical cancer vaccines so more of it could be used to protect girls and women around the world.

"This is very much a work in progress," GAVI spokeswoman Nicole King said. "Our next step is to work on pricing and to work with countries on how to roll it out."

- read the story in the International Herald Tribune