Pentavalent is crucial to protect children in developing countries against five major childhood diseases

Geneva, 6 May 2014 – The GAVI Alliance today welcomed the announcement that an additional pentavalent vaccine has received prequalification by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The vaccine, manufactured by India based Shantha Biotechnics (a Sanofi company), protects children against five potentially fatal diseases – diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B and Haemophilius influenzae type b.

Pentavalent is a key vaccine for the GAVI Alliance with 72 of 73 countries who are eligible for Alliance support having already introduced the 5-in-1 vaccine and the 73rd (South Sudan) expected to introduce by the end of 2014.

Pentavalent has been crucial in the Alliance’s drive to ensure access to lifesaving vaccines for children no matter where they live which has seen 440 million children immunised and six million lives saved since 2000.

WHO prequalification means the vaccine has passed stringent internationally-recognised criteria and UN agencies, including UNICEF which procures vaccines on behalf of the GAVI Alliance, can purchase the vaccine. GAVI Alliance is delighted that once again Shantha Biotechnics becomes a supplier to the Alliance.

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