Moral Low Ground

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‘The Moral High Ground’: Bill Gates Pledges $1 Billion for Vaccine Equality

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, once the richest man in the world, has promised to donate $1 billion to help vaccinate children around the world against preventable diseases like pneumonia, the BBC reports.

Gates, who is hosting a summit in London at which he is asking countries to pony up $3.7 billion for childhood vaccines by 2015, affirmed his commitment to ensuring that poor children have the same access to desperately needed vaccines as their counterparts in the developed world.

“It’s now that we’re going to start to get the last two vaccines that rich kids take for granted, the pneumococcus and rotavirus, and over the next five years and get them out to every child everywhere,” Gates declared. “That means that for the first time ever, we have equity in vaccines.”

According to the Global Alliance on Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), this effort could save four million lives in four years.

Since founding the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000, the couple has given around $30 billion to charity. Last year, Gates, along with investment tycoon Warren Buffett, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and 57 other billionaires pledged to donate at least half of their wealth to charity.

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