The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) announced today that 16 extra developing nations, including twelve African countries, will receive funding to carry out immunisation against diarrhoea and pneumonia. By 2015 GAVI plans to immunise over 90 million children with pneumococcal vaccines.
Thirty seven nations have been approved for funding for a variety of vaccines. The primary immunisations are against rotavirus and pneumococcal disease (the cause of pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis); other vaccines include the pentavalent vaccine against diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus and hepatitis B.
Rotavirus leads to death in over half a million children annually due to severe diarrhoea as a result of the rotavirus infection. Rotavirus vaccines were introduced to Mexico in 2006 and, in the five years since the vaccine was rolled out the number of children under five who died from diarrhoea has fallen by 46%.