Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline said Friday morning that they will supply millions more doses of vaccine to fight pneumococcal disease in young children in some of the world's poorest nations, as part of an effort by the GAVI Alliance.
GAVI stands for Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization. The Advance Market Commitment (AMC), a pilot program run by the GAVI Alliance, is a public-private approach to funding vaccines and other health-care products. AMC is meant to combine the resources and manufacturing capabilities of global pharmaceutical companies, with cash from advocacy groups, developed nations and prominent charities, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to provide the vaccine at lower prices.
Pneumococcal disease can lead to a batch of deadly problems, including pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis . Most children in the United States, from 6 weeks to just before their sixth birthday, get the vaccination, but fewer children get it other spots on the globe.
Pfizer, which is based in Manhattan but has a big operation in Collegeville, is donating more doses of its pneumococcal vaccine, Prevnar 13.
"Pfizer is proud to broaden and extend access to our vaccine to advance public health," Mark Swindell, Pfizer's president of vaccines, said in a statement. "Public-private partnership programs like the AMC are vital to accelerating the availability of affordable vaccines, faster than ever before, to those children who are most vulnerable. We are proud to help protect even more children at risk for the potentially devastating consequences of pneumococcal disease – which claims more young children's lives than any other vaccine-preventable disease."
GSK, which is based in London but has a big office in Center City (and moving to the Navy Yard), is donating more doses of its pneumococcal vaccine, Synflorix.
Jean Stéphenne, chairman of GSK Biologicals said in statement, "By stepping up our contribution of Synflorix to GAVI, we can help ensure there is enough pneumococcal vaccine available to meet the increasing demand across the world. We are committed to playing our part in addressing health-care challenges in developing countries, which includes adopting new strategies to help accelerate access to vaccines for diseases such polio, rotavirus, measles and pneumococcal around the world. Vaccines are one the most effective ways to improve public health and the economical development of these countries. Increasing vaccination means more children will be able to live healthy lives."