USAID Welcomes Announcement of Lower Prices for Life-Saving Vaccines

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, June 7, 2011
USAID Press Office
202-712-4320

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), released the following statement regarding commitments received from vaccine manufacturers to reduce the prices of life-saving vaccines.

The most transformative technology at our disposal, vaccines ensure protection against killer diseases whether children are immunized by pediatricians in the U.S. or by health workers in rural clinics in Africa. If we expand the coverage of existing vaccines and introduce new vaccines against pneumonia and diarrhea, we can save the lives of 4 million children over the next five years. By making quality vaccines available at affordable prices, manufacturers are helping make this goal a reality.

Beyond lowering prices, we also need to deliver pentavalent vaccines combining immunizations against Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Hepatitis B and Hib to the 60 percent of children born every year without access to them.

We also need to rapidly introduce and expand the reach of new pneumonia and diarrhea vaccines. Expansion of the rotavirus vaccine can save up to 300,000 of the 1.3 million children who die every year of diarrheal diseases, while the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine can save 500,000 of the 1.5 million lives lost to pneumonia annual "We welcome the news issued yesterday by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) that several vaccine industry partners are reducing the prices for lifesaving vaccines to protect women and children against fatal diseases for the poorest countries.

The most transformative technology at our disposal, vaccines ensure protection against killer diseases whether children are immunized by pediatricians in the U.S. or by health workers in rural clinics in Africa. If we expand the coverage of existing vaccines and introduce new vaccines against pneumonia and diarrhea, we can save the lives of 4 million children over the next five years. By making quality vaccines available at affordable prices, manufacturers are helping make this goal a reality.

Beyond lowering prices, we also need to deliver pentavalent vaccines combining immunizations against Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Hepatitis B and Hib to the 60 percent of children born every year without access to them.

We also need to rapidly introduce and expand the reach of new pneumonia and diarrhea vaccines. Expansion of the rotavirus vaccine can save up to 300,000 of the 1.3 million children who die every year of diarrheal diseases, while the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine can save 500,000 of the 1.5 million lives lost to pneumonia annually.

Delivering these world-class vaccines does not need to occur in a world-class facility for it to be effective. We can reach more children by improving access to life-saving vaccines through strong community-based delivery systems. We are helping countries strengthen their ability to deliver both existing and new vaccines by establishing the necessary cold chain and logistical systems, training health workers, developing introduction plans for new vaccines and informing communities and families.

Our commitment to fund vaccine research through GAVI and expand the reach of current vaccines, combined with the efforts manufacturers have made to lower costs, represent a key global partnership that is crucial to saving lives and improving the health of children, women, and families.

The evidence is clear; vaccines are one of the best public health investments we can make. They also remain our best hope of ending malaria deaths, preventing tuberculosis, and closing the chapter on AIDS. We stand ready to work with our partners to make this hope a reality."

For more information about USAID, please visit: www.usaid.gov.

Last updated: October 22, 2014

Share This Page