Pentavalent vaccine support

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With our support, pentavalent vaccine is available in the world's 73 poorest countries

Pentavalent South Sudan

Mother holding her child at South Sudan’s pentavalent vaccine launch. Credit: Gavi/2014/Mike Pflanz.

Pentavalent vaccine protects against five major infections: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).


In July 2014, South Sudan introduced pentavalent vaccine. It was the 73rd and final Gavi-supported country to introduce the vaccine. Kenya was the first to launch it with Gavi support in 2001.

In 2000, fewer than 10% of low-income countries had introduced hepatitis B vaccine. Less than 5% had launched the Hib vaccine as part of their immunisation programmes.

Today, all the world's poorest countries have introduced the two vaccines as part of the pentavalent vaccine.

Pentavalent vaccine coverage in Gavi-supported countries increased from 1% in 2000 to 78% in 2016.

Increasing coverage while reducing the number of shots

Nurse prepares pentavalent vaccine Sierra Leone

Pentavalent combines five different vaccines in a single vial. It protects against five diseases: diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib).

Pentavalent vaccine is a successor to the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccine. It was introduced to boost coverage of hepatitis B and Hib vaccines by making them part of routine immunisation programmes.


Hib is a deadly bacterium which can cause meningitis, pneumonia and septicaemia. It is responsible for approximately 200,000 child deaths every year. 

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. For some people, it is an acute, or short-term, illness but for others it can become a long-term, chronic infection. It claims more than 880,000 lives every year through chronic and acute liver disease.

Babies and young children are most at risk from hepatitis B. The virus often passes 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.

More than 250 million people worldwide are chronically infected with hepatitis B.

For more information, visit the Gavi website's hepatitis B section >>  


Offering hepatitis B and Hib vaccines as part of a five-in-one pentavalent vaccine does not only improve coverage. It also means that children only need three shots – instead of the previous nine – to get 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.

Ensuring secure and sustainable supplies of pentavalent vaccines at affordable prices

Penta Haiti 2012


Gavi began offering the five-in-one pentavalent vaccine to countries in 2001. The goal was to boost the low uptake of Hib and hepatitis B vaccines by making them part of routine immunisation programmes in developing countries. Since 2012, we support hepatitis B and Hib vaccines only as part of the pentavalent vaccine.

The public-private partnership model

The pentavalent success story reflects the strengths of Gavi’s public-private partnership model. UNICEF’s Supply Division has met demand for over one billion doses. WHO and UNICEF have helped countries decide when and how to introduce the vaccine.

Industry has increased global production capacity from 20 to 400 million doses. At the same time, innovation in formulation and packaging has helped to reduce the strain on immunisation cold chains.


The past 16 years have seen significant reductions in the price of the pentavalent vaccine. Our significant buying power has provided incentives to manufacturers to lower their prices.

The average price Gavi pays for pentavalent vaccine dropped from US$ 2.98 in 2010 to US$ 1.55 in 2016. It is expected to decrease further to US$ 0.79 by 2019. Until recently, it cost more than US$ 30 per dose in the US public market.

The Vaccine Alliance has also encouraged new suppliers to enter the market, including those based in emerging markets. Expanding the supplier base has significantly increased supply security for the vaccine.

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