Pneumococcal vaccine support

in page functions

Vast majority of Gavi-supported countries have introduced the pneumococcal vaccine

More than 143 million children vaccinated by the end of 2017

In April 2015, Bangladesh introduced the pneumococcal vaccine alongside inactivated polio vaccine.

In April 2015, Bangladesh introduced the pneumococcal vaccine alongside inactivated polio vaccine. We are now reaching one of the world’s largest birth cohorts with two life-saving vaccines. Credit: Gavi/2015/GMB Akash.

Roll-out across three continents

Nearly 60 Gavi-supported countries have introduced pneumococcal vaccines into their routine programmes.

These vaccines, which protect against the main cause of pneumonia, are complex to develop and produce. In the past, they may have taken up to 15 years to reach developing countries. Thanks to the Vaccine Alliance, these countries can now access the newest vaccines at the same time as high-income countries.

Pneumococcal vaccine roll-outs

Gavi aimed to support pneumococcal vaccine introductions in 45 countries by 2015. We reached this target already in November 2014, 13 months ahead of schedule. By the end of 2017, 58 countries had rolled out the vaccine.

Mongolia, which rolled out the vaccine in June 2016, became the first transitioned country to fully self-fund its pneumococcal vaccine programme.

More than 143 million children reached

Our support has helped countries immunise more than 143 million children against pneumococcal disease. Coverage increased by 2 percentage points between 2016 and 2017 to reach 43%. This puts Gavi-supported countries almost on a par with the global average coverage for pneumococcal vaccine, which stood at 44% in 2017.

We are working with partners to ensure that supply of the vaccine remains stable. We also aim to make sure that countries that have yet to introduce get the support they need to do so. Another important goal is that existing programmes 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. They have together contributed US$ 1.5 billion to the Advance Market Commitment (AMC) for pneumococcal vaccines.

The AMC aims 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. We expect that other manufacturers will have new vaccines ready to take part in the AMC in future years.

Map of countries approved for Gavi's pneumococcal vaccine support


Pneumococcal disease is the most common cause of pneumonia – the world’s biggest killer of children.

Causes of under-5 child deaths in low-income countries

Six leading diseases
Percentage of global vaccine-preventable diseases
Source: WHO

Leading cause of pneumonia

Pneumococcal disease is caused by the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacterium. It is the leading cause of pneumonia, which kills more children each year than any other disease.

Streptococcus pneumoniae can also cause meningitis, which often leaves survivors with permanent disabilities. Another pneumococcal infection is sepsis, which can lead to amputation or death. Pneumococcal otitis media, a middle ear infection, can result in permanent deafness.

Pneumococcal infection claims the lives of more than 500,000 children every year. The vast majority of these deaths occur in developing countries.

Pneumococcal vaccines

Safe and affordable vaccines are the most effective way to prevent pneumococcal infection.

WHO recommends that all countries introduce pneumococcal vaccines in their immunisation programmes. This is particularly important in countries with high levels of child mortality.

Gavi helps accelerate access to pneumococcal vaccines adapted to developing country needs.

The Vaccine Alliance and the pneumococcal AMC:

  • The World Bank provides fiduciary support.
  • Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia, Norway and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation committed US$ 1.5 billion to launch the AMC.
  • Gavi has committed US$ 4 billion to support the cost of pneumococcal vaccines by the end of 2021. We also provide programmatic and administrative support.
  • WHO has established specific criteria for the vaccines and provides technical assistance.
  • UNICEF handles vaccine procurement and distribution.

Pneumococcal AMC

Gavi, the World Bank and donors launched the pneumococcal Advance Market Commitment (AMC) in 2009. The AMC helps countries access more affordable pneumococcal vaccines adapted to their epidemiology.

To date, Gavi has signed agreements with two manufacturers under the AMC. Thanks to these agreements, we pay no more than US$ 3.50 per dose for pneumococcal vaccines. This is less than 10% of the cost of the same vaccines sold in the European Union and the United States of America.1 

We expect more manufacturers to take part in the AMC in the future.

The AMC gives manufacturers an incentive to invest in: 

  • finalising the development of pneumococcal vaccines that protect against more serotypes. These serotypes often cause disease and death in low-income countries.
  • increasing their capacity to produce these vaccines in enough quantities to meet demand.

At the same time, it gives developing countries the assurance that enough vaccines will be available at a price they can afford over the long term. As a result, they are better able to plan and budget for their immunisation programmes.

Routine immunisation support

WHO recommends the use of pneumococcal vaccines in all countries. This is particularly important in countries with high pneumonia and under-five mortality rates.

Gavi provides support for the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and injection supplies. Further, countries receive a one-time vaccine introduction grant. 

Vaccines supported through the AMC have to meet specific criteria developed by WHO. They must also receive approval by the Independent Assessment Committee.

1 For approximately 20% of doses, companies receive another US$3.50 for each dose they provide. Donor commitments cover this extra cost.

How to apply

>279 million

By the end of 2017, 21 countries in the African meningitis belt had immunised over 279 million people against meningitis A through Gavi-supported campaigns. Seven countries had introduced the vaccine into their national immunisation systems.

WHO/UNICEF and Gavi 2018

More facts...

close icon

modal window here