News / Africa

Indian Firm Cuts Price of Major Vaccine

Gavi Alliance helps provide many types of immunization in African countries. (GAVI)
Gavi Alliance helps provide many types of immunization in African countries. (GAVI)

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua
An Indian manufacturer has cut the price of a major vaccine for children. It means the cost of the vaccine -- that protects against five diseases -- will be available for a little more than a dollar per dose. The agreement was brokered by the GAVI Alliance.


The pentavalent vaccine immunizes children against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, Hepatitis B and hib – bacteria that can cause meningitis, pneumonia and other infections.

“The pentavalent vaccine is really our flagship vaccine. We’ve rolled it out in 70 out of 73 of the world’s poorest countries that we work in so far. It’s the basic childhood vaccine. Three shots of this will set the child up for life, a healthy and productive life,” said Dan Thomas, GAVI’s chief spokesman.

GAVI is a public / private partnership that helps make vaccinations available in developing countries. It says the agreement with Biological E Limited lowers the cost by one-third. It says it could mean a savings of up to $150 million over the next four years.

Thomas said, “Vaccines cost money. We buy them on the open market. So, we work with the vaccine manufacturers to try and ensure a sustainable supply and a quality supply of vaccines, but also at prices that we can afford to buy them.”

The agreement lowers the price for the pentavalent vaccine to $1.19 per dose. That’s about a dollar cheaper than last year. Ten years ago, it cost $3.56 a dose. Besides Biological E Limited, GAVI has agreements with four other suppliers.

“All the vaccines that we buy are of the highest standards -- the same vaccine standards that we see in the world’s richest countries. So that’s the first thing. They’re all pre-qualified by the World Health Organization. So these really are the very best vaccines, in terms of quality and price available, in the global market place,” he said.

GAVI expects to roll out the vaccine in the remaining three countries soon.

“We’re hoping to introduce it in Somalia later this month. And Indonesia later this year and then South Sudan early next year we hope,” said Thomas.

At a London conference in June 2011, donors pledged an additional $4.3 billion dollars for GAVI programs through 2015. Donors will meet again in October in Stockholm to assess immunization progress.

The announcement of the vaccine price cut comes shortly before the Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi. It will be held April 24th and 25th.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fairi
X
Brian Padden
May 29, 2015 1:27 PM
With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs