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New studies show progress, value in vaccination against deadly pneumonia
Date:11/9/2011

GENEVA -- Vaccines against the primary cause of deaths from pneumonia in developing countries could save millions of lives and are highly cost-effective, according to a comprehensive new analysis to be released on Thursday, Nov. 10.

In a paper published in the journal International Health, the authors estimate that two pneumococcal vaccines being introduced in the world's poorest countries with support from the GAVI Alliance could save the lives of three to four million children over the next 10 years. A separate report released by the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins University shows that progress in rolling out interventions to control pneumonia has been uneven, with the greatest recent progress in access to vaccines but lingering lack of access to medical care and antibiotics in the countries where children are most vulnerable to pneumonia.

Pneumonia took the lives of more than 1.5 million children in 2008 more than any other cause of death, and over 98% of those deaths are in developing countries. However, there is emerging evidence that this death toll can be reduced, and rapidly. With GAVI's support, some of the world's poorest countries are signing up at an unprecedented rate to introduce vaccines against pneumococcal disease, a leading cause of pneumonia and meningitis. According to the Pneumococcal Global Serotype Project, the new vaccines are expected to prevent more than 70% of serious pneumococcal infections among children in Africa and Asia, where children have the highest risk of this disease.

"In 2011, 3.6 million children will be immunised against pneumococcal disease, and 10 million more are expected to receive the vaccine by the end of next year," said Seth Berkley M.D., CEO of the GAVI Alliance. "As of Saturday, when Malawi introduces the pneumococcal vaccine for its children, it will become the 16th of the world's lowest-income countries to take this step and this is just th
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Contact: Coimbra Sirica
csirica@burnesscommunications.com
301-943-3287
GAVI Alliance
Source:Eurekalert

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