The Rockefeller Foundation announced the launch of the Global Vaccination Initiative, a $55 million investment over two years to support country-led efforts to fully vaccinate 90% of the most at-risk populations in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Moderna’s CEO Stéphane Bancel spoke at the Boston College Chief Executives Club on April 5. While COVID-19 vaccine production was a big talking point for the leader of Moderna, he also touched on how mRNA technology can usher us into a longer life span, saying that he tells all of his friends to “not die” in the next ten years.

It will take $15 billion in grants during 2022 and another $10 billion annually after that to establish and maintain an adequate toolkit to respond to COVID-19 and address future pandemic threats, according to four organizations focused on global health and the economy.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration extended the Prescription Drug User Fee Act date for Merck’s supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for Vaxneuvance, a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine intended for preventative use in infants and children.

The European Union and the Gates Foundation will invest over 100 million euros ($113.4 million) during the next five years to help set up an African medicines regulator to boost the continent’s drugs and vaccine production, the EU Commission said on February 15.

The prevailing theory about the Omicron variant is that it is going to rip through the population quickly and possibly burn out, marking the downside of the COVID-19 pandemic. But researchers are expressing concern about a subvariant of Omicron dubbed BA.2 that appears to be tearing through Denmark, just as the first Omicron wave subsided.

U.S. financial contributions to the World Health Organization (WHO) have fallen by 25 percent during the coronavirus pandemic, provisional data show, with Washington’s future support to the United Nations agency under review.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pours investment dollars into disease-fighting efforts, especially for those illnesses that inequitably impact developing nations. The massive non-profit is taking up the cause for a pneumococcal infection with a $90 million investment in Seattle area’s Inventprise. 

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will make a $35 million equity investment in privately owned Exscientia Ltd. to fund the development of antiviral drugs including for the coronavirus, the Oxford-based drug developer said on Sept. 8.

The Children’s Eye Foundation of AAPOS unveiled the world’s first interactive children’s book to help screen for color vision deficiency (CVD), commonly known as color blindness. The foundation posted a free digital version of THE CURIOUS EYE at thecuriouseye.org and published a first-run, hardcover book for its member pediatric ophthalmologists.