The World Health Organization has approved a new vaccine which, according to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) will protect 55 million children from poorer countries from contracting pneumonia, the biggest childhood killer, and which can result in meningitis and septicaemia.
The bacteria which causes pneumonia is estimated to cause nearly 400,000 deaths each year in children under 5 worldwide.
The new vaccine, called Pneumosil, will be manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. Pneumosil is much cheaper than the existing vaccines, which means immunisations are now within the reach of millions of children in low and middle-income countries who are currently unprotected from death and disability which can result from pneumococcal meningitis.
MRF’s goal is to see fewer people get meningitis and septicaemia, and to do this effective vaccines should be in place everywhere to protect people most at risk. Widening worldwide access to life-saving vaccines is a critical step forward on the path to defeat meningitis by 2030.
The vaccine is listed on WHO’s prequalification site and the news was announced by MSF and PATH.