Bill Gates donates $12M to research universal flu vaccine

Bill Gates pledged $12 million to fund research for a universal flu vaccine, according to The Hill.

The funds will support projects to develop a vaccine targeting all flu strains, which Mr. Gates said would fight the risk of a global flu pandemic.

"To broaden efforts even further, today we are launching a $12 million Grand Challenge in partnership with the Page family to accelerate the development of a universal flu vaccine. The goal is to encourage bold thinking by the world's best scientists across disciplines, including those new to the field," Mr. Gates said at the Massachusetts Medical Society's annual meeting April 27. "Lucy and Larry Page are also supporting efforts by the Sabin Vaccine Institute to encourage innovative approaches that eliminate the threat of a deadly flu pandemic."

President Donald Trump praised the initiative, reportedly telling Mr. Gates he is "super interested" in the idea, according to an interview with STAT. When Mr. Gates told President Trump about the vaccine during an Oval Office meeting in March, the president immediately called FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, and asked what he knew about the development of a universal vaccine.

Mr. Gates also reportedly asked President Trump why he had not appointed a White House science adviser. He said President Trump offered him the job, which he declined.

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