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$18M injection – Parasite infects 1 billion people

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is giving $18 million to the Albert B. Sabin Vaccine Institute to develop a vaccine to prevent hookworm.

H.R. Sheperd, the institute’s chairman, called the gift “enlightened philanthropy” because it will clear economic barriers that have stopped the development of a hookworm vaccine.

Hookworm infects one billion individuals, or roughly 25 percent of the world’s population. The parasite stunts children’s intellectual and physical growth. 

Sheperd said the gift, which will help free economically disadvantaged populations from the disease, is a huge step toward democratizing health care throughout the world. 

The Sabin Vaccine Institute is a nonprofit educational and research foundation whose mission is to save lives by improving vaccines and expanding immunization access.

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