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Major price cut for five-in-one vaccine

Bangladesh, with support from UNICEF, WHO and other partners, has introduced the Hib vaccine to prevent severe forms of child pneumonia, meningitis, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and hepatitis B
(Shehab Uddin/UNICEF)

The cost of vaccinating children with the pentavalent vaccine - a five-in-one formulation - is set to drop significantly following a deal between the GAVI Alliance and an Indian drug manufacturer that is reducing its price by 30 percent.

GAVI will now be able to purchase the pentavalent vaccine - which protects against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, heptatitis B and Haemophilius influenzae type b - from Indian firm Biological E for US$1.19 per dose, down from its current price of $2.17 (and down from $3.56 per dose a decade ago). Millions of children in 73 GAVI-eligible countries are set to benefit from the price drop, which will free up an estimated $150 million for GAVI over the next four years.

"Working to secure price reductions means we are able to make our funding go further, reaching more children and protecting more lives," a GAVI Alliance spokesman told IRIN.

Experts say reductions in the price of vaccines - and the price of transporting and storing them, which often requires expensive refrigeration - will be crucial to lowering child mortality and meeting the UN Millennium Development Goal on child survival.

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This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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