From this Associated Press article that we found at NPR, we read more about reaction to the Gates Foundation statement.
Gates said the commitment more than doubles the $4.5 billion the foundation has given to vaccine research over the years.
The foundation said up to 7.6 million children under 5 could be saved through 2019 as a result of the donation. It also estimates that an additional 1.1 million kids would be saved if a malaria vaccine can be introduced by 2014. A tuberculosis vaccine would prevent even more deaths.
"Vaccines are a miracle," said Melinda Gates. "With just a few doses, they can prevent deadly diseases for a lifetime."
Margaret Chan, head of the World Health Organization, called the Gates contribution unprecedented and urged governments and private donors to add to the initiative.
"An additional two million deaths in children under five years could be prevented by 2015 through widespread use of new vaccines and a 10 percent increase in global vaccination coverage," said Chan.