Gates Foundation commits another $250 million to fight COVID-19
© getty: Bill and Melinda Gates

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed another $250 million toward the development and distribution of COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines.

The commitment is the foundation’s largest single contribution to the medical response to the pandemic, it announced Wednesday.

Melinda Gates told Yahoo Finance that some of the money will go toward procuring 200 million doses of vaccines and 120 million rapid response tests for non-first-world nations.

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“Our whole goal is to make sure that these vaccines get out to low- and middle-income countries,” she said.

The foundation has put up $1.75 billion in total in response to COVID-19, including $750 million in at-risk financing from its Strategic Investment Fund.

The funding comes as the U.K. begins to roll out Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, which has also just been approved in Bahrain, Canada and Saudi Arabia. The U.S. is expected to approve the vaccine shortly.

Foundation CEO Mark Suzman said in a statement that the next phase of the pandemic will be “much costlier” than initial vaccine development.

“Every institution with a role to play has to be generous now,” Suzman said. “Multilateral organizations, national governments, companies, and philanthropies — we all must invest in making sure the tests, drugs, and vaccines reach as many people as possible.”

Since the pandemic began, there have been 69,099,758 coronavirus cases globally, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 1.5 million people have died.