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PATH partners with researchers in Vietnam to work on a vaccine against influenza. (PATH Photo / Matthew Dakin)

Seattle-based global health nonprofit PATH announced Wednesday that it has received a $120 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation aimed at fueling the organization’s development and deployment of life-saving vaccines.

The funds will go to the PATH Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access (CVIA), which launched last year with an initial $11 million in funding from the Gates Foundation. As part of the grant, CVIA also added four vaccine experts to its leadership team.

“We’re proud of our two decades of developing and delivering vaccines that are saving millions of lives,” PATH CEO Steve Davis said in a press release. “With this solid base of funding and this world-class team, PATH can do even more to combat age-old scourges and emerging threats.”

Vaccines are one of the best tools in the global health toolbox. They can help prevent outbreaks and epidemics and can even eliminate diseases all together: They played a huge role in eliminating smallpox and are helping in the crusade to eliminate polio in the next few years.

CVIA focuses on developing and deploying vaccines in two areas: the leading causes of death in children —pneumoniadiarrheal disease, and malaria — and other top global health priorities, including influenza, meningitis and the human papillomavirus.

“We are working on vaccines against over a dozen deadly diseases and partnering with governments and companies around the world to save lives and improve health through vaccine innovation and immunization,” Davis said.

“From specific vaccine successes against Meningitis A and Japanese encephalitis to game-changing immunization supply chain technologies like the vaccine vial monitor, PATH has an impressive track record in saving lives through vaccine innovations,” Trevor Mundel, president of Global Health for the Gates Foundation, said in the release. “We are delighted to support CVIA, a center of excellence for vaccine development and introduction.”

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