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Bill Gates in a recent interview with Dr. Sanjay Gupta expressed furor at the faked study linking vaccines and autism. He says that it's vital for the developed world to help the third world get vaccinated.  (Source: CNN.com)
Microsoft's co-founder lets loose in an interview with Sanjay Gupta

At the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, one of the chief luminaries of the American tech industry, and perhaps its most recognizable face, Bill Gates, is hard at work pushing countries of the world to step up to the plate and increase their charitable efforts.  Bill Gates knows a thing or two about charity -- he and his wife founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which will give away half of his $54B USD Microsoft fortune.

One of the foundation's biggest projects is to vaccinate children around the world.  Bill Gates has pledged $10B USD to this effort.

CNN News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta interviewed Bill Gates at WEF and asked him about this effort.  Asked about the published-then-retracted autism-vaccines link, Mr. Gates responds:

Dr. [Andrew] Wakefield has been shown to have used absolutely fraudulent data. He had a financial interest in some lawsuits, he created a fake paper, the journal allowed it to run. All the other studies were done, showed no connection whatsoever again and again and again. So it's an absolute lie that has killed thousands of kids. Because the mothers who heard that lie, many of them didn't have their kids take either pertussis or measles vaccine, and their children are dead today. And so the people who go and engage in those anti-vaccine efforts -- you know, they, they kill children. It's a very sad thing, because these vaccines are important.

Mr. Gates points to the eradication of smallpox as an example of how a worldwide vaccination effort can succeed.  He says that polio vaccination efforts, while ongoing places like Afghanistan, are also showing signs of success.

Optimistically, he states:

Over this decade, we believe unbelievable progress can be made, in both inventing new vaccines and making sure they get out to all the children who need them. We could cut the number of children who die every year from about 9 million to half of that, if we have success on it. We have to do three things in parallel: Eradicate the few that fit that profile -- ringworm and polio; get the coverage up for the vaccines we have; and then invent the vaccines -- and we only need about six or seven more -- and then you would have all the tools to reduce childhood death, reduce population growth, and everything -- the stability, the environment -- benefits from that.

When asked about questions of corruption and fraud at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, one of the largest vaccination efforts in the world, Mr. Gates states that he believes this to be limited to 3 to 4 percent of grantees.  He says that he knows that the Global Fund cut off some grantees due to abuse, and that the fund is seeking alternative ways to get vaccines to those nations' members.

When it comes to vaccines, Mr. Gates is amazed there's not more interested in the developed world.  As one of America's greatest visionaries, he see it as a no-brainer.  He comments:

This is saving lives for well less than 1% of what you would spend in the rich world. And if you think lives are created equal -- this at least says well, are they at least worth 1%. And that's ignoring the sickness you avoid.

There was a survey recently that showed half the kids in Africa, because of infectious disease, have IQs of 80 or lower. That's cerebral malaria, that's malnutrition because their brain doesn't fully develop. And if you want them to be stable and on their own, you have got to make sure that terrible sickness, that permanently hurts them their entire life, is not there.

By and large, it is the one health intervention that can get to everyone. In fact, it is so simple, people often forget what a big deal this is. The 2 million people that would have died from smallpox now don't think, "Wow, I'm alive today because of vaccinations," but that's the case.





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