Via MSF.org: Greece: Expensive pneumonia vaccine key barrier to vaccinating refugee children. Excerpt:
Athens – Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) denounced the exorbitant price governments and non-governmental organisations are required to pay to vaccinate vulnerable children.
In the past few weeks, MSF has vaccinated more than 5,000 refugee children between ages six months and 15 years of age in several camps and settlements across Greece. MSF vaccinated refugee children against ten diseases, including pneumonia. Pneumonia remains the single largest killer of children under five worldwide, and is particularly acute for children living in crises.
MSF called on Pfizer and GSK to drop the price of the pneumonia vaccine (PCV) for governments and humanitarian organisations in emergency contexts.
MSF paid 60 Euros (US$68.10) per dose for the pneumonia vaccine, which it bought through local pharmacies. This is 20 times more than the lowest global price of the vaccine, which is roughly 2.80 Euros (US$3.10) per dose.
Despite vaccinating highly vulnerable children, humanitarian organisations such as MSF are unable to purchase vaccines at the lowest available price. This lowest global price for the pneumonia vaccine is only available to the world’s poorest countries through Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Three doses of the pneumonia vaccine are needed to provide full protection for a child.
Another vaccine used by MSF during these campaigns protects children against six diseases and is also expensive, priced around 65 euros per dose.
“Governments and humanitarian organisations need tools to protect children living through one of the biggest crises of our times,” said Dr. Apostolos Veizis, Director of MSF’s Medical Operational Support Unit in Greece. “Pfizer and GSK must drop the price of the pneumonia vaccine.”
“With the collapse of the healthcare systems in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, most children living in the camps and outside have not been immunised in their country or during the journey. These kids are living in horrendous conditions and should not pay the price of fleeing for their lives with their health. We have to protect them at all cost against pneumonia and other deadly diseases,” said Veizis.