“The Decade of Vaccines is an important plan to protect children against killer diseases, but it lacks ambition when it comes to bringing vaccine prices down and making vaccines better adapted for use in developing countries. The $57 billion Global Vaccine Action Plan does not contain any mechanism to track vaccine prices, despite the alarming fact that the cost to fully vaccinate a child has skyrocketed by 2,700% over the last decade (from $1.38 to $38.80). Just two new vaccines—for pneumococcal disease and rotavirus—make up three quarters of what it costs to vaccinate a child today, yet very little is being done to make sure these prices come down further. Developing countries that will over time lose donor support to pay for vaccines will be left in a precarious position of not being able to afford the high price to vaccinate their children.
The vaccines available today are difficult to get to children in the most remote places, which contributes to the fact that one in five babies born each year (22 million) is not protected against childhood killers. The Decade of Vaccines plan does not do enough to make sure that vaccines are developed that are easier to use in hard-to-reach places, such as vaccines that don’t require refrigeration, don’t need to be delivered by needle or can be given in fewer doses. The DOV plan has a very un-ambitious target of just one new vaccination delivery technology in place by 2020, even though several new products could be available much sooner—for example vaccines that are delivered through patches, air pressure or aerosol masks.
- Kate Elder, Vaccines Policy Advisor
Médecins Sans Frontières, Access Campaign