Melinda Gates Speaks Out Against The Anti-Vaccine Movement

01/22/2015 03:37 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2015

Expanding the accessibility of vaccinations throughout the developing world has been one of the repeated goals of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Although the controversial anti-vaccine movement has called for the end of the practice, co-chair Melinda Gates is firmly standing by the treatment.

In an interview with HuffPost Live on Wednesday, Gates touted the importance of vaccines in combatting conditions like pneumonia and diarrhea and responded to anti-vaxxers who have questioned their effectiveness.

“Are you kidding? We take vaccines so for granted in the United States,” she told host Caroline Modarressay-Tehrani.

While some American parents have been hesitant to vaccinate their children, women in the developing world go to great lengths to get vaccinations, she added.

“They will walk 10 kilometers in the heat with their child and line up to get a vaccine because they have seen death. We’ve forgotten what measles deaths look like. We’ve forgotten ... the scourges they used to be. But in Africa, the women know death in their children and they want their children to survive," Gates said.

The philanthropist urged American families to take think twice before putting off a vaccine.

“So I’d say to people in the United States: We’re incredibly lucky to have that technology, and we ought to take advantage of it," she said.

Watch the full HuffPost Live interview with Melinda Gates here.

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