Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) welcomes the news that a new pneumococcal vaccine will soon be available and will be the cheapest ever offered, meaning that more people around the world can be protected against pneumococcal infection – a leading cause of deadly diseases including pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis.
Two vaccines protecting against some of the most common strains of pneumococcal disease are already available, but this new cheaper alternative could finally make a pneumococcal vaccine available to children in middle-income countries that until now have not been protected.
The new vaccine called Pneumosil, developed by the Serum Institute of India, has been thoroughly tested and completed the necessary clinical trials and is set to enter the global market in 2020.
It could also mean enormous cost savings for Gavi - an international organisation that funds vaccines for children living in the poorest countries. This could free up more Gavi funding for other vaccines needed to protect children from deadly diseases including meningitis.
Linda Glennie, Director of Research at MRF said, “Pneumococcal infection is one of the leading causes of bacterial meningitis in children around the world. In some countries it is the most common cause. Pneumococcal meningitis can be severe and has a high risk of death or long term brain damage in those who survive it.