In a keynote address at the 64th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Bill Gates called on pharmaceutical companies to make vaccines for infectious diseases affordable for all nations, and for governments and non-government organizations to work together to provide funding and leadership in the fight against infectious diseases. "I believe we have the opportunity to make a new future in which global health is the cornerstone of global prosperity," noted Gates in his speech. Industry, government and non-profit cooperation could save 10 million lives by 2020 in the 'decade of vaccinations' and 4 million lives by 2015, added the computer mogul-turned-philanthropist.
Specifically, Gates wants new vaccines for polio that could finally and completely eradicate the disease. He also set goals of developing a system of delivering vaccines and making five or six basic shots available to all children worldwide.
Meeting these goals will require more money from donor nations and commitments from all 193 nations present at the meeting to make widespread vaccinations the backbone of their public health effort. For the industry's part, Gates said vaccines should be affordable, and called for pharma companies to drastically cut the cost of the pentavalent, pneumococcus and rotavirus vaccines by 2015.