Pneumonia VaccineAccording to Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, within the last 10 years, the pneumonia vaccine has saved the lives of more than 500,000 children in developing countries. More than 109 million children have been given the PCV (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine) with Gavi’s support.

Although the numbers have now reached 41 percent from 2015’s 35 percent of receiver rates, millions of children are still not receiving the pneumonia vaccine. This is an issue because the disease is both treatable and preventable, but remains the leading cause of death in children throughout the world.

The pneumococcal vaccination protects the body against different types of the pneumococcal bacteria itself. The pneumonia disease is most common in children, and therefore the CDC recommends that all children be vaccinated. Although there are many different types of pneumococcal bacteria, there are only two types of the vaccination itself. The first vaccination to fight pneumonia is called Prevnar 13. This vaccination protects against 13 different types of the pneumococcal bacteria. The second type, Pneumovax 23, protects against 23 different types of the bacteria. Although this vaccine can save lives and prevent the disease, children in developing countries are nine times more likely to get the disease than people in developed countries.

Normally, children in developing countries receive vaccinations 10 years after children in wealthy countries do, but with the Advance Market Commitment, funded by Italy, Canada, Russia, Norway and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, they were able to get the PCV vaccine as soon as a year after it was developed. The market legally binds commitment purchases of the vaccinations through preset terms. This concept has been around for a long time, but the Advanced Market Commitment’s tactics seem to be very effective. Gavi has reached 58 countries throughout Africa and Asia with their immunization programs. The continued push to immunize all children in developing countries will greatly affect these nations’ outcomes in the future.

– Chloe Turner

Photo: Flickr