The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said that it is accepting nominations for the first Gates Vaccine Innovation Award to recognize, celebrate, and spur transformative ideas for achieving impact through the delivery of vaccines. Nominations will be accepted through November 17, 2011.
"Vaccines are one of the best investments in global health but they still don't reach many of the children who need them the most," said Dr. Rajeev Venkayya, director of Vaccine Delivery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "Innovation is essential to overcoming health challenges and we want to ensure that pioneering global health leaders receive the credit they deserve."
"The Gates Vaccine Innovation Award is unique in that it complements other awards already focused on scientific research and development. The winning person or team will receive $250,000 and earn special recognition by foundation leadership for their contribution," a statement from the foundation said.
Every year, 2.4 million children die from preventable diseases despite the availability of effective vaccines. Innovations in vaccine delivery can save lives. The Gates Vaccine Innovation Award seeks to reward those who have achieved significant improvements in the prevention, control, or elimination of vaccine preventable disease through imaginative and pioneering approaches.
In May 2011 during his keynote address to the World Health Assembly, Bill Gates announced that, beginning in 2012, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation would bestow an annual award to the person or team that had made the most innovative contribution to the Decade of Vaccines.