Bad Astronomy

Bill Gates gives $10 billion for vaccines!

Have no doubt, I’m a Mac guy. I don’t drink the Kool Aid, but my time with using PCs is well behind me. But y’know, Bill Gates is still my kinda guy: he and his wife are investing ten billion dollars to get vaccines to kids who need them.

That’s $10,000,000,000. Holy Haleakala. They think this can save nearly 9 million lives, and I think that’s pretty cool:

“Vaccines are a miracle,” added Melinda Gates. “With just a few doses, they can prevent deadly diseases for a lifetime. We’ve made vaccines our priority at the Gates Foundation because we’ve seen firsthand their incredible impact on children’s lives.”

Good on them. Very, very good. This is not only something desperately needed, but the publicity is, haha, a shot in the arm as well.

And if I may disagree ever-so-slightly with Ms. Gates, I’ll add that vaccines are not a miracle: they are the result of science, of clever people, of medical advances. That fact is lost on a lot of folks, including the antivaxxers. On top of this incredibly generous move, I’d love to see Mr. and Ms. Gates donate some money and effort to a good ad campaign that promotes vaccination and specifically targets the claims of the pro-disease antivax crowd, so that their work will have even more of a sustainable impact. I’m so thrilled they’re doing this, but we also need a national campaign to show people that the antivaxxers are wrong and doing significant damage to the public health.

Still and all: my congrats to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and my very sincere and hearty thanks.