Pakistan has introduced vaccine against deadly pneumococcal disease in children in collaboration with Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI). For this programmed GlaxoSmithKline’s Synflorix has been selected. It is estimated that approximately 1.3 million children worldwide died due to pneumonia and in Pakistan 20% deaths in children occur due to pneumonia according to the (GAVI).
Pakistan has become the first country to introduce vaccine against pneumonia in South Asia. Pakistan is among those countries in which still polio cases are being reported. Efforts are being made to eradicate polio since 1994 according to the Govt. of Pakistan.
“In Pakistan, with a successful roll-out we can save tens of thousands of lives,” GAVI’s chief executive Seth Berkley told reporters at a briefing at its Geneva headquarters. “It will make a dramatic difference in life expectancy in the country.”
Thanks to GAVI’s advanced market commitment scheme as it has a major role to introduce Synflorix in Pakistan.
GSK will provide atleast 80 million doses of Synflorix to GAVI for programs against pneumococcal disease in 73 developing countries by 2023.
GAVI has also made similar global deal with Pfizer for its rival pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar.
GAVI is considered as public private partnership that is being supported by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organisation, the World Bank, UNICEF, international donor governments and others. It provides funding to buy bulk immunization campaigns for poor and underdeveloped countries that cannot afford vaccine at higher price.
“The government of Pakistan assures us they will do everything they can to roll out this product,” he said. “This is a vaccine that families understand, (along with) the importance of this disease and children dying, so it actually may help the effort.”
It is not possible to prevent every case of pneumonia by administering pneumococcal vaccine but it can protect tens of thousands of children from preventable sickness and disease as said by GAVI.
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