Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 28, 2000

President Clinton Unveils Millennium Initiative to Promote Delivery of Existing Vaccines
in Developing Countries and Accelerate Development of New Vaccines

In his State of the Union address, President Clinton will call for concerted international action to combat infectious diseases in developing countries. These diseases cause almost half of all deaths worldwide of people under age 45, killing over eight million children each year and orphaning millions more.

The President committed the United States to addressing this terrible problem in his September speech to the United Nations General Assembly. Now the President is asking for foundations, pharmaceutical companies, international agencies, and other governments to join us in this task, and he is announcing these specific elements of his Millennium Initiative:


Infectious Diseases Pose a Mounting Social and Economic Burden on Developing Countries - And a Threat to Our Health As Well.

Vaccines Are One of the Most Cost-Effective Ways to Improve the Well-Being and Productivity of the Poorest Countries - And Medicines and Other Basic Health Services Are a Necessary Complement.

A $50 Million Contribution to GAVI to Buy Vaccines For Children - Which Will Save Lives Now and Create Confidence that a Market for New Vaccines Will Exist in the Future.

We Must Shift Existing International Resources Toward Building Health Infrastructure in Poor Countries That Can Deliver Vaccines and Medicines and Provide Essential Basic Health Services.

Higher Funding for Basic Scientific Research Through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Elsewhere Will Hasten the Development of Vaccines for Malaria, TB, and AIDS.

A New Tax Credit Would Effectively Provide Up to $1 Billion for Future Vaccine Purchases, Speeding the Invention and Production of New Vaccines.

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