Pneumococcal Awareness Council Of Experts (PACE) Celebrates WPD

Pneumococcal Awareness Council Of Experts (PACE) Celebrates WPD

PACE Celebrates Great Strides with Pneumococcal Vaccines on Third Annual World Pneumonia Day

On November 12, the world comes together to recognize the third annual World Pneumonia Day and to advocate for solutions to the world’s leading killer of young children. Today, PACE is particularly pleased to celebrate the great strides that have been made in the fight against pneumococcal disease – the leading cause of deadly childhood pneumonia.

Since PACE’s inception in 2006, 59 countries have introduced pneumococcal vaccines into their national immunization programs, with the latest country to take this step being the tiny southeast African nation of Malawi, which will administer its first vaccine today. Thanks to the work of the GAVI Alliance and its partners, 18 more countries are on track to take this step within the coming year, with a total of nearly 60 low-income countries to follow suit by 2015.

“The fact that countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America will introduce the newest generation pneumococcal vaccines shortly after their introduction in the United States is unprecedented, and is expected to have a dramatic impact on pneumonia deaths,” said Ciro A. de Quadros.  “PACE commends our partners for their dedication to tackling the leading killer of young children.”

The Pneumonia Progress Report, released this week by the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC), underscores the tremendous progress is being made expanding access to vaccines in the countries with the most child pneumonia deaths.

“We are finally beginning to achieve equity among countries rich and poor when it comes to pneumonia prevention, which will mean the difference between life and death for millions of children,” said Orin Levine. “We must continue our resolve to ensure that children in even the hardest-to-reach communities have a shot at a healthy life.”

PACE is amplifying this message with commentaries this week in the Global Post, Huffington Post, Bangladesh’s Daily Star and South China Morning Post.