Bill and Melinda Gates at the Lincoln Center in September 2018. Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is putting $150 million into an effort to distribute coronavirus vaccines to low-income countries in 2021, global vaccination alliance Gavi announced on Friday.

Why it matters: Poorer countries have been most affected by the pandemic's disruption for noncommunicable diseases, the World Health Organization reports. Even in wealthy countries like the U.S., low-income people are among the most likely to become seriously ill if infected with the virus, along with minority populations.

Details: The foundation's $150 million will be used by the Serum Institute of India (SII) to create potential vaccine candidates — which are projected to cost $3 at most — and distribute them to poorer countries.

  • SII has pledged to deliver at least 100 million COVID-19 vaccines in 2021.

Go deeper: Gates Foundation will focus "total attention" on coronavirus

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Dave Lawler, author of World
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Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The global toll of confirmed deaths from COVID-19 crossed 1 million on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

By the numbers: More than half of those deaths have come in four countries: the U.S. (204,762), Brazil (141,741), India (95,542) and Mexico (76,430). The true global death toll is likely far higher.

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Why it matters: The Trump administration has stressed the importance of reopening schools in allowing parents to return to work and jumpstarting the economy.

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