13 million more children protected as GAVI marks World Pneumonia Day
A vaccine against the leading cause of pneumonia is protecting millions more children in developing countries, according to figures compiled to mark the fourth World Pneumonia Day.
By the end of 2012, the vaccine will have reached an estimated 13 million children in the world’s poorest countries. To date, 21 countries have already introduced the pneumococcal vaccine in record time, with support from the GAVI Alliance. By 2015, more than 50 countries plan to introduce the vaccine, protecting millions more children from one of the leading causes of pneumonia.
Tools to change
“Pneumonia is a painful disease that claims the lives of over a million children every year,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of the GAVI Alliance, “We have the tools to change this. GAVI is taking the lead in ensuring that countries that want to vaccinate their children against pneumococcal disease, one of the leading causes of pneumonia, are supported to do so.”
GAVI has also supported the introduction of a vaccine that protects against Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), which is another leading cause of pneumonia. Almost all of the 73 countries GAVI works in have introduced the vaccine, reaching 120 million children. By the end of 2012, it is projected that over 600,000 future deaths caused by Hib disease will have been prevented through GAVI Alliance support.
World Pneumonia Day
You can read the full press release from the GAVI Alliance here.