One of the vaccines is used to protect children from pneumococcal disease, the primary cause of pneumonia-related deaths in children under five, and the other protects against rotavirus, a leading cause of diarrheal disease.
“Children in Tanzania are being protected in record time,” Minister of Health and Social Welfare Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi said. “Thanks to the support of the GAVI Alliance, we can provide our children with the same vaccines as those given to children in the industrialized world.”
The GAVI Alliance has committed more than $7.9 billion to immunization programs in the developing world. In the next eight years, it plans to invest more than $400 million to vaccinate 52 million children living in the Arab world, according to SaudiGazette.com.sa.
“In the past three years, the GAVI Alliance has introduced new vaccines to protect children against the major causes of pneumonia and diarrhea,” GAVI Board Chair Dagfinn Høybråten said. “We are extremely proud of our achievements.”
Not everyone is supportive of GAVI’s efforts. Some humanitarian groups such as Medecins sans Frontiers argue that aid organizations should be able to acquire vaccines at an overall reasonable price as opposed to having to negotiate access to them on a case-by-case basis.
MSF also alleges that GAVI has the resources to invest in products that are better adapted to reach children in remote locations, such as vaccines that require no refrigeration, require no needles and that can be given in fewer doses.