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BBC Reports On Efforts To Broaden Access To Childhood Vaccines

The BBC reports on discussions about childhood immunization at the International Pediatric Association (IPA) meeting last week in Johannesburg, South Africa. “Vaccines are a key plank in meeting Millennium Development Goal 4 – to reduce child mortality by two thirds by 2015 – and many sessions at the congress were devoted to them,” the news service writes.

The article explores several challenges associated with delivering vaccines to children throughout the world, including “[l]ogistics, infrastructure and political will,” and notes how experts are rethinking systems for delivering vaccines in developing countries to help reduce waste and maximize the number of children reached.

The story looks at efforts to broaden access to “the pentavalent vaccine, a five in one shot containing tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine (Hib),” including by a one-use, pre-filled injection that “health workers with less than two hours of training” can use to immunize children. The article includes comments from IPA Executive Director Jane Schaller and Simona Zipursky of Project Optimise, “a WHO collaboration with PATH developing immunisation systems for tomorrow’s world” (Parry, 8/16).