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Political, Public Health Leaders Convene In Gulf For Global Vaccine Summit

“Political and public health leaders meeting in the Gulf this week will back a $5.5 billion plan to eradicate polio within five years, despite repeated setbacks including a recent spate of assassinations of health workers giving vaccines,” the Financial Times reports. “Government officials from Abu Dhabi will join senior European, African and Asian politicians as well as business leaders at a Global Vaccine Summit as they seek to find the estimated $2.5 billion outstanding to fund the intensified vaccination that they hope will eliminate the disease as soon as 2015 and at the latest by 2018,” the newspaper notes, adding, “The summit signals both a switch in technical approach and an unprecedented effort to diversify funding away from western governments and businesses to include that from Muslim leaders” (Jack, 4/22). At the summit, which begins April 24, delegates “will discuss how the global community can assure that children everywhere have access to vaccines, how the roadmap to polio eradication works, and the opportunities afforded by new vaccine and delivery innovations,” according to a press release (.docx) (4/23). Several sessions will be webcast live at www.globalvaccinesummit.org.