Pneumonia is the single biggest killer of children under five worldwide, but a new agreement hopes to change this by making the vaccine for the disease much more affordable.
A new agreement between UNICEF and the Serum Institute of India will drop the price of the lifesaving drug from $3.50 to $2 per dose. The Serum Institute of India is a biotech company that will provide 10 million doses of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) to countries supported by the Gavi Vaccine Alliance every year for the next 10 years, according to UNICEF.
Gavi was launched in 2000 to promote vaccine accessibility and has saved more than 13 million lives across 73 countries since its founding. Pneumonia kills over 800,000 children under 5 years old every year, so making the vaccine more affordable is a big step towards reducing its deadly impact. The vaccine will be especially beneficial in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, where the disease is most prevalent.
Vaccines are an incredible resource for global health, yet, in 2018, 20 million children reportedly missed out on lifesaving vaccines. Coordination between international organizations to make them more readily available and affordable is a big solution for child wellness around the globe.