Vaccine body supports WHO action on pneumonia

The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization hopes a resolution to increase efforts to combat pneumonia will be approved when they appear later this week before the World Health Organization, according to an Associated Press wire report.

Former Irish President Mary Robinson, who now serves as chairwoman for GAVI, a partner in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, told the Associated Press she’d like to send pneumonia and rotovirus vaccines to over 40 developing countries.

Such a plan, however, would need approximately $2.6 billion in funding through 2015, she told the AP.

“WHO support would be a terrific step forward,” Robinson told the AP. “Pneumonia is the biggest child killer and there is such an inequity to it.”

A vote on the resolution is expected on Friday.

The resolution was proposed by Britain at the WHO's 193 nation World Health Assembly.

Pneumonia is an inflammation or infection of the lungs most commonly caused by a bacteria or virus. In all cases, the lungs' air sacs fill with mucous, pus and other liquids and cannot function properly. This means oxygen cannot reach the blood and the cells of the body.

Vaccines for flu are recommended for children six months of age to 19 years old, pregnant women, people 50 years of age or older and people who live with or care for those who are at high risk for contracting the flu.