There are a number of areas of ongoing research in the field of vaccination. One area is the search for a vaccine for malaria. In 2005, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donated over $250 million for research and development in this area. The foundation also donated over $300 million for HIV research, including research into developing a vaccine for HIV. Unfortunately, both these diseases have evolved ingenious methods of avoiding the immune system, and it may be a long time before effective vaccines become available.
One disease that is not as well known as HIV or malaria, but where a vaccine may soon become available, is group B streptococcus. Several promising vaccine studies are currently underway. Group B strep affects two main groups of people: pregnant women, who are able to pass the infection onto their babies during labor, and the elderly who have chronic medical conditions. If a newborn baby develops group B strep from the labor process, it is usually a severe infection that can lead to pneumonia, meningitis, and even death. In the elderly, severe group B strep infections affect thousands of people in the United States with a fatality rate of 10–40 percent.