2015 target of 45 introductions achieved more than one year ahead of schedule
In April 2015, Bangladesh introduced the pneumococcal vaccine alongside inactivated polio vaccine. As a result, one of the world’s largest birth cohorts – three million children – is now being reached with two life-saving vaccines. This required training health workers and strengthening the national cold chain. Credit: Gavi/2015/GMB Akash.
Roll-out across three continents
Since 2010, more than 50 Gavi-supported countries have introduced pneumococcal vaccines into their routine immunisation programmes.
Pneumococcal vaccines are highly complex and sophisticated vaccines that in the past might have taken 15 years or more to reach lower-income countries. Thanks to the work of Gavi, its donors and Vaccine Alliance partners, the world's poorest children are now receiving the newest pneumococcal vaccines simultaneously with children in high-income countries.
Pneumococcal vaccine roll-outs
Gavi aimed to support the pneumococcal vaccine introductions in 45 countries by 2015. This target was reached already in November 2014, 13 months ahead of schedule, when Georgia added the vaccine to its routine immunisation schedule. By the end of 2015, 54 countries had rolled out the vaccine.
Included in the group of countries that introduced in 2015 were Bangladesh, which simultaneously rolled out pneumococcal and inactivated polio vaccine, and Nepal, which continued to roll out the vaccine even in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake.
More than 70 million children reached
Strong demand means that pneumococcal vaccines are now being administered in two-thirds of all Gavi–supported countries.
WHO estimates that to date over 76 million children have been protected against pneumococcal disease with Gavi support. By the end of 2015, just 15 of those countries eligible for Gavi funding had yet to apply for pneumococcal vaccine support.
While coverage levels increased to 35% in 2015, they still fell 5 percentage points short of our five-year target. This is largely the result of supply issues in the early years of the programme and delayed introductions in countries with large populations. Vaccine Alliance partners are working to ensure that supply remains stable, that adequate support is provided for those countries yet to introduce and that programmes, once established, are sustainable over the long term.
Advance Market Commitment
The implementation of this AMC is on track ... reducing morbidity and mortality from pneumococcal diseases in developing countries
Source: AMC process and design evaluation
The introduction of these vaccines is largely thanks to the generosity of Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, the Russian Federation, Norway, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation who together contributed US$ 1.5 billion through an innovative financing mechanism, the Advance Market Commitment (AMC) for pneumococcal vaccines.
The aim of the AMC is to stimulate the development and manufacture of new vaccines for developing countries.
Two manufacturers have thus far committed to supply 600 million doses over the next 10 years. It is expected that additional manufacturers will have new pneumococcal vaccines ready to participate in the AMC in future years.
Map of countries approved for Gavi's pneumococcal vaccine support