Bill Gates to Keynote Global Vaccine Summit

More than 300 global leaders, health and development experts, vaccinators, celebrities, philanthropists, and business leaders will gather Wednesday in Abu Dhabi in the first Global Vaccine Summit to endorse the critical role that vaccines and immunization play in giving children a healthy start to life.

Despite progress, one child still dies every 20 seconds from preventable diseases like pneumonia, rotavirus, measles, and meningitis.

The Summit, focused on the power of vaccines, is being held during World Immunization Week (April 24-30) to continue the momentum of the Decade of Vaccines — a vision and commitment to reach all people with the vaccines they need. Ending polio is a critical milestone in this vision.

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will deliver a keynote to celebrate progress and honor the individuals, communities, partners and nations that have made success possible. The speech will be webcast live at www.globalvaccinesummit.org.

“Vaccines work to save lives and protect children for a lifetime,” said Bill Gates. “By investing in stronger immunization systems, we can protect our gains against polio and reach mothers and children with other health services.”

Global Vaccine Summit

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Bill Gates visited a Community-Based Health Planning & Services Center in Ghana to see how strong immunization systems protect against polio and can deliver new vaccines and primary health care. Credit: ©Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/Frederic Courbet

The world is coming together around the Global Vaccine Action Plan, endorsed by nearly 200 countries last May, to develop better and more affordable vaccines and deliver them through stronger routine immunization systems.

If we succeed, we can save more than 20 million lives and prevent nearly one billion illnesses by 2020. This will save nearly $12 billion in treatment costs and achieve more than $800 billion in economic gains as vaccinated children live longer, healthier, more productive lives.

The organizing partners of the Global Vaccine Summit are: UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, the GAVI Alliance, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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