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Bill & Melinda Gates Give $10B To Vaccine Program


Parsad
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From their foundation's annual letter it's rather inspiring. In particular they showed evidence that reducing infant mortality rates perversely, and beneficially, has the effect of population control, so good vaccines will have a double benefit and be surprisingly cost-effective. Once people know their offspring are highly likely to survive to adulthood, they will tend to choose to have fewer children. This will stabilize population and tend to reduce food shortages and consequent suffering and concentrate resources into providing a better future for those children. This has been shown in a number of cases in recent history where reduced infant mortality in numerous countries goes hand-in-hand with reduced family size. There's not a large natural funding consistency toward research into third-world disease prevention and vaccine distribution, so a program of this size will in all likelihood produce cost-effective results and avoid duplication of anyone else's efforts.

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I guess it strategically does no harm to patent the drugs because it gives control to maximise options. The freedom to license an AIDS or HIV vaccine in the developed world to raise funds for more research is then an option, to raise more money for research or whatever use is deemed most effective. It's possible to offer a free license on certain conditions to allow low cost distribution in the developing world.

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