Gates pledges $10B for 'Decade of Vaccines'

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it will give $10 billion over the next 10 years support everything from basic research to delivery of vaccines to developing countries. The foundation is especially focused on providing children with vaccines to prevent severe diarrhea and pneumonia, which Gates says could save 7.6 million children's lives by 2019.

In addition to jabs for diarrhea and pneumonia, the organization will also support efforts for malaria and tuberculosis vaccines. The Foundation notes in a statement that the vaccine R&D pipeline is more robust than ever. GlaxoSmithKline has begun late-stage trials of a vaccine to protect children from malaria, while a shot to prevent meningitis outbreaks in Africa could hit the market this year.

"We must make this the decade of vaccines," says Bill Gates. "Vaccines already save and improve millions of lives in developing countries. Innovation will make it possible to save more children than ever before." The new funding announced today is in addition to the $4.5 billion the Foundation has already committed to vaccine research, development and delivery to date.

- check out the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation release