Increasing coverage while reducing the number of shots
Pentavalent combines five different vaccines in a single vial to protect against five diseases: diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus (DTP), hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib).
A successor to the DTP vaccine, pentavalent vaccine was introduced to boost coverage of hepatitis B and Hib vaccines by including them as part of routine immunisation.
Hib is a deadly bacterium which causes meningitis, pneumonia and septicaemia. It is responsible for approximately 200,000 child deaths every year. The majority of survivors suffer paralysis, deafness, mental retardation and learning disabilities.
In developing countries, where the vast majority of Hib deaths occur, the disease leaves up to 35% of survivors with disabilities.
For more information, visit the Gavi website's Hib section >>
Hepatitis B is a viral infection which claims more than 680,000 lives every year through chronic and acute liver disease.
Babies and young children are most at risk from hepatitis B, with the virus often passing from mother to child before or shortly after birth. This puts victims at high risk of death from cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer later in life.
An estimated 240 million people worldwide are chronically infected with hepatitis B.
For more information, visit the Gavi website's hepatitis B section >>
THREE SHOTS INSTEAD OF NINE
Offering hepatitis B and Hib vaccines as part of a five-in-one pentavalent vaccine doesn’t just improve coverage. It also means that just three shots are needed – instead of the previous nine – to provide the same protection.
Other advantages include:
- widespread protection is achieved quickly and safely;
- shipping costs are lower;
- with fewer syringes to dispose of, environmental impact is reduced; and
- fewer injections mean less distress and inconvenience for children and parents.