Gates Foundation commits $1.2B to eradicate polio

At the World Health Summit on Oct. 16, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said it is pledging $1.2 billion to support global efforts to eradicate polio. 

The financial commitment will support the Global Polio Eradication Initiative's strategy through 2026, which aims to end poliovirus in Pakistan and Afghanistan — the last two endemic countries — and stop outbreaks of new variants. The latest commitment brings the Gates Foundation's total contribution to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to nearly $5 billion. 

The GPEI requires $4.8 billion in funding to fully support its strategy through 2026. If fully funded, the initiative will be able to provide polio vaccines to 370 million children a year and advance the rollout of a next-generation polio vaccine.

On Oct. 11, New York extended its state disaster emergency declaration for polio at least through Nov. 8. Polio has been detected in 70 wastewater samples from a number of counties in the state after the virus paralyzed an unvaccinated man in Rockland County, N.Y., in July. 

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