This Bill Gates-backed fund wants to ‘disrupt’ vaccine delivery in poor countries
At the very top of a tall glass building, in a room overlooking Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc, a group of entrepreneurs are working on new ways to get vaccines to the people who need them most.
They’ve come here from all over the world, and they’ve all launched pilot projects in poor countries — everything from wearable health monitors and online mapping tools to vaccine refrigerators that plug into cell towers. Now, they’re looking for what some say could transform their companies: a stamp of approval from the Bill Gates-backed GAVI alliance.
Since launching in 2000, GAVI has emerged as a prominent player in vaccine delivery, with nearly $10 billion in funding. (The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated $1.5 billion.) As an alliance of governments, NGOs, and private companies, GAVI works to negotiate with drug companies for lower-priced vaccines in poor countries, and provides aid until those countries can afford to pay for the drugs themselves.