Global vaccine efforts seek $24B in bad economic times

For the past two decades, wealthy nations and philanthropies have been pumping an ever-growing amount of money into the world's leading vaccine initiatives. Now two of the biggest vaccine groups are testing the political waters to see if they can continue that trajectory in the midst of a global recession.

The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria are asking the Group of 20 nations to provide up to $24 billion for their vaccination programs in coming years. Over the past decade, the growing generosity of countries--as well as philanthropists like billionaire Bill Gates--has helped revolutionize the entire industry, spurring the development of new vaccines and financing ambitious new programs to vaccinate the world's poor.   

These campaigns aren't cheap, though. The Wall Street Journal reports that the campaign to wipe out malaria needs $59 billion over the next decade to do its work, while TB initiatives are seeking $5.6 billion for each of the next five years. Getting that money at a time when wealthy nations are feeling the lasting effects of a recession is far from certain.

"This is going to be a question of political will and making priorities and hard choices," said Stefan Emblad, a director at the Global Fund.

- here's the story from the Wall Street Journal