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15 Feb 2011

First Pneumococcal Vaccine Introduced to Africa

A pneumococcal vaccine has been introduced into the Kenyan national immunization program. It is regarded as an historic step towards improved health for children in Africa.

The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation has introduced a vaccine against pneumococcal disease to children in Kenya. The country becomes the first African nation to receive the preventive medicine. In developing nations, pneumococcal disease accounts for 18% of child deaths.


The vaccine, developed by the GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer, will also be introduced in 19 developing countries including Nicaragua, Guyana, Yemen and Sierra Leone in 2011. The alliance hopes to eventually launch the drug in more than 40 nations by 2015.


Pneumococcal disease is a major public health problem worldwide that causes a range of pathologies, from common upper respiratory tract infections to severe invasive manifestations such as pneumonia

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