January 29, 2010

Your Old Purchases of Windows and Microsoft Office will Buy $10 billion in Vaccines and Save 8 Million lives

Bill and Melinda Gates said on Friday they would spend $10 billion over the next decade to develop and deliver vaccines

Over the past 10 years, the Microsoft co-founder's charity has committed $4.5 billion to vaccines and has been instrumental in establishing the GAVI alliance, a public-private partnership that channels money for vaccines in poor countries.

By increasing immunization coverage in developing countries to 90 percent, it should be possible to prevent the deaths of 7.6 million children under five between 2010 and 2019, Gates told reporters at the World Economic Forum.

More cash is now needed to make the most of new vaccines becoming available, including ones against severe diarrhea and pneumococcal disease from GlaxoSmithKline, Merck and Pfizer.

"We can take immunization to the next level, with the expanded uptake of new vaccines against major killers such as pneumonia and rotavirus diarrhea," Chan said in a statement.

She said an extra two million deaths in children under five could be prevented by 2015 by widespread use of new vaccines and a 10 percent increase in global immunization coverage.

Further off, Glaxo is also in the final phase of testing a vaccine against malaria that Gates said could slash deaths from the mosquito-borne disease.

This project could reduce the death rate worldwide by 1.5%. There are about 57 million deaths each year. So about 570 million deaths would be expected from 2010-2019. (actually a bit more as the population ages, the death rate will increase unless medicine continues to improve.)

More than 80 percent of child deaths due to diarrhea occur in Africa and South Asia and just 15 countries account for almost three quarters of all deaths from diarrhea among children under five each year. India has the highest number of annual deaths at 386,600. Some 1.5 million children die each year from diarrhea, -- more than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined. Diarrhea causes one in five child deaths across the world but getting important vaccines to Africa and Asia could help save many lives.

So the Bill Gates Vaccine program estimate of 8 million lives saved does not include widespread effective diarrhea vaccines which could save 2 million lives per year. It would take time to deploy the diarrhea vaccines.

Pneumococcal vaccine information from the World Health Organization

Immunity following pneumococcal disease is directed primarily against the capsular serotype involved. The currently licensed pneumococcal vaccine is based on the 23 most common serotypes, against which the vaccine has an overall protective efficacy of about 60%–70%.

Acute respiratory infections kill an estimated 2.6 million children under five years of age annually. The pneumococcus causes over 1 million of these deaths, most of which occur in developing countries, where the pneumococcus is probably the most important pathogen of early infancy

90% coverage with existing Pneumococcal vaccine could save about 500,000 lives per year. Better pneumococcal vaccines (say with 95% effectiveness against all types of pneumococcus) could save 950,000 lives each year.

Infectious Disease

Infectious diseases kill more than 14 million people per year—around a quarter of deaths worldwide. For many of these diseases, cost-effective drugs and vaccines do not currently exist.

A UCLA summary of diseases Effectively vaccinating against the top 5 diseases could save up to 10 million lives each year. 100 million lives over a decade.

4.0 million deaths from acute respiratory infections, children under 5 years. 55% occur in first year of life

Leading agents
Streptococcus pneumoniae
Influenza A and B
Haemphilus influenzae
Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Acute bronchitis
Acute obstructive laryngitis

HIV/AIDS (2007)
2.0 million HIV/AIDS-related deaths
30 - 36 million living with infection
2.7 million new infections
Largest cause of death from a single pathogen
Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 75% of AIDS deaths
Surveillance figures are far from complete
Millions to billions of viral genotypes
Antiviral therapies expensive / resistance increasing
Vaccines trials in progress / promise?

2.5 million deaths from diarrheal diseases, children under 5 years.

Leading pathogens
Rotavirus (children under 2 years of age in developing countries)
Vibrio cholerae

Other pathogens
Escherichia coli O157:H7

1.8 million deaths from Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the world.
9.3 million new cases of tuberculosis.
1.7 billion people are or have been infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

MALARIA (2006)
1.0 - 3.0 million deaths worldwide per year
Vast majority of malaria deaths occur in Africa.
40% worlds population exposed to malaria

0.6 - 1.0 million carriers die each year
2 billion people alive today have been infected with hepatitis B virus

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