MSF urges global vaccine community for reduction in vaccine price

International medical organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières considers the high prices of vaccines a problem for developing countries and their ability to fully vaccinate their children in the future.

Vaccine prices have risen by 2700 percent in the last ten years, making the needed medical care harder to afford for developing countries. Statistics shows that in 2001, it cost $1.37 to fully vaccinate a child, while today the price has risen to $38.80.

"Urgent action is needed to address the skyrocketing price to vaccinate a child, which has risen by 2,700 percent over the last decade," Manica Balasegaram, executive director of MSF's Access Campaign, said. "Countries where we work will lose their donor support to pay for vaccines soon, and will have to decide which killer diseases they can and can't afford to protect their children against."

Millions of people each year are vaccinated by MSF, which supports the GAVI Alliance, a taxpayer-funded organization that negotiates with companies for lower prices on vaccines. Non-governmental organizations and humanitarian actors, however, are unable to receive GAVI-negotiated prices on vaccines.

"We're asking GAVI to open up their discounted vaccine pricing to humanitarian actors that are often best placed to respond to vaccinating people in crisis," Balasegaram said.