Letters to the Editor

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VACCINES: Funding will save lives, earn good will for U.S.

Letter by Donna Schindler Munro, Bremerton on May 16, 2011 at 11:09 am | 20 Comments »
May 16, 2011 11:09 am

I was happy to see the article (TNT, 5-14) on retired South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s address to 15,000 people at the Tacoma Dome, urging us to “be the spark” in creating a better world. “It’s not that we have to be doing spectacular things,” he said.

We live in a global village, and as private citizens we can take proactive actions.
For instance, there are two new vaccines available now, one for pneumonia and one for diarrhea-causing rotavirus. Pneumonia and diarrhea are leading causes of death of young children in poor countries. Getting these two vaccines to 44 nations could save 4 million kids by 2015.

Why should we care? Disease ravages households and villages in many poor countries, nurturing instability. GAVI alliance (formerly Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization) has already inoculated 300 million kids in the past 10 years for other diseases, but needs funding for this new vaccine campaign.

Congress needs to pledge $450 million over the next three years for GAVI. This will leverage huge returns in millions of lives saved and good will earned.

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