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Foundation Seeks Help Identifying Innovators in Vaccine Delivery | Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

$250,000 award recognizes creative ideas for improving immunization in developing countries

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
206-709-3400
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Phone: +1.206.709.3400
Email: media@gatesfoundation.org

SEATTLE -- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is now accepting nominations for the second annual Gates Vaccine Innovation Award. The award aims to recognize, celebrate, and spur transformative ideas for achieving health impact through the delivery of vaccines. Nominations will be accepted through August 31, 2012.

“Vaccines work to give children a healthy start in life,” said Steve Landry, interim director of vaccine delivery at the Gates Foundation. “New ways of thinking about age old vaccine delivery problems are essential to ensure that all children have access to the vaccines they need.”

The 2012 Gates Vaccine Innovation Award recognized the work of Dr. Asm Amjad Hossain, a former district immunization and surveillance medical officer in Bangladesh. Dr. Hossain instituted an improved process to help register, track, and locate pregnant mothers. He applied annual vaccination schedules for communities and incorporated other simple steps like adding the phone numbers of vaccinators to children’s immunization cards. The implementation of these of innovative approaches to routine immunization provided thousands of additional children with access to life-saving vaccines.

Vaccines are cost-effective, safe, and proven to protect children from life-threatening and crippling diseases. Thanks to the tireless efforts of governments, health care workers and non-governmental organizations, great progress is being made toward achieving equal access to vaccines.

The foundation will recognize the winning innovation with a $250,000 (U.S) prize. By focusing on the delivery of vaccines, the Gates Vaccine Innovation Award aims to complement other awards focused on scientific research and development.

Vaccines prevent an estimated 2–3 million deaths each year, yet 19.3 million infants were not fully immunized in 2010. The Gates Vaccine Innovation Award seeks to recognize those who have used innovative approaches to vaccine delivery and as a result improved vaccine coverage among those who need them most.

About the Award

In May 2011, during his keynote address to the World Health Assembly, Bill Gates announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation would bestow an annual award to the person or team that had made the most innovative contribution to the Decade of Vaccines. Even simple ideas, when applied in creative ways, can be innovative and lead to significant change. For this award, we are looking for ideas big and small that are resulting in tangible improvements in vaccine coverage in developing country communities.

The Gates Vaccine Innovation Award application process is open to any individual or team from any discipline, including academic institutions, governments, health care facilities, research institutions, non-profit organizations and for-profit companies. Nominations are being accepted online now at: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/vaccine-innovation-award.

Nominations will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on Aug.31, 2012. The foundation will announce the Gates Vaccine Innovation Award winner in early 2013.

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