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Pfizer (NYSE: PFE ) announced today that it will supply UNICEF with up to 740 million doses of vaccine Prevenar 13 for distribution to children in developing countries. The vaccine helps protect against bacterial pneumococcal disease, one of the leading causes of vaccine-preventable deaths worldwide in children under age five. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 800,000 young children die from pneumococcal infections every year.
The decision is evidence of the latest success of Advance Market Commitments (AMC), a public-private health funding unit that incentivizes pharmaceutical companies to move ahead with R&D and/or expand manufacturing capacity for less-profitable medications. Pfizer first agreed to participate in AMC in 2010, and has pledged Prevenar 13 vaccines through 2025.
"Pfizer is dedicated to broadening vaccine access and helping to improve health outcomes around the world, and we're proud to make Prevenar 13 available through the AMC program," said Pfizer President of Vaccines Susan Silbermann in a statement today. "Strong vaccination programs are a cornerstone of economic development -- a simple intervention that has dramatic short and long term impact on health. Since first offering Prevenar 13 through the AMC in 2010, we have continued to support this revolutionary public health program that helps those most in need of potentially lifesaving vaccinations."