The cost of the pentavalent vaccine that protects against five of the deadliest childhood diseases has dropped to below US$3 per dose for the first time, freeing up US$55 million a year to be used to immunise 6.3 million more children in developing countries in 2010.
The pentavalent vaccine, which was introduced in India in 2008, is the gold standard for childhood immunisation because it protects against five diseases: Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b), diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus and hepatitis B.
Data presented on Wednesday by Ibrahim El-Ziq, Chief of the Immunisation Centre at UNICEF’s Supply Division, indicated that by 2010 the price will be US$ 2.94 per dose for pentavalent vaccine.
In 2001, there was only one company producing the pentavalent vaccine, now there are four.
Two are Indian companies.