Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) welcomes today’s announcement from the GAVI Alliance that Pfizer’s pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, Prevenar 13* (pneumococcal polysaccharide conjugate vaccine [13-valent, adsorbed]), is now included in the expanded pediatric immunization program in Tanzania. Pneumococcal disease is one of the leading causes of vaccine-preventable deaths worldwide in children younger than 5 years of age and results in more than one out of every five deaths in children younger than 5 years of age in Tanzania. 2,3
The availability of Prevenar 13 in Tanzania is made possible by the Advance Market Commitment (AMC), an innovative funding mechanism that provides newer vaccines on a sustainable, affordable and accelerated basis to the world’s poorest countries. In just two years, 20 countries, including Tanzania, have introduced Prevenar 13 into their immunization programs as part of the AMC. This potentially lifesaving vaccine is being offered to help protect an estimated 10.5 million infants and children in these developing countries from pneumococcal pneumonia and invasive disease caused by the serotypes in the vaccine. 1,4
“Pfizer is accelerating access to Prevenar 13 to infants and children who are most vulnerable, and our partnership with the GAVI Alliance helps ensure that this goal is realized,” says Susan Silbermann, president, vaccines, Pfizer. “Since pneumococcal pneumonia continues to be a major threat to young children in Tanzania, the AMC has the potential to significantly contribute to the achievement of the United Nation’s fourth Millennium Development Goal of reducing infant mortality two-thirds by 2015.” 5
While public health interventions have helped to decrease infant mortality in Tanzania by 47 percent between 1990 and 2010, 5 mortality rates are still among the highest in the world. There are more than 100,000 deaths of Tanzanian children under the age of 5 every year. 6On Dec. 6, 2012, representatives from the GAVI Alliance, including board chair Dagfinn Høybråten; the United Nations; government officials, including Tanzania’s Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Hussein Ali Mwinyi; and the country’s first lady, Salma Kikwete, will gather at a health and vaccination center in Morogoro, outside Dar es Salaam, for the official launch and immunization of the first Tanzanian child with Prevenar 13.