Pneumococcal disease

Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, sometimes referred to as pneumococcus. Infection can cause many types of illnesses, including pneumonia, infection of the blood, ear infections, or bacterial meningitis.

Every year, over one million children die of pneumonia and other respiratory diseases. Over the past few years, some progress has been made in improving access to life-saving vaccines that prevent pneumonia, such as pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) and Haemophilus Influenzae Type B-containing vaccine (Hib). However in emergency contexts – where children are the most at risk because of deteriorated living conditions – accessing the PCV vaccine is a challenge due to high prices and lengthy processes to secure adequate supplies. 

MSF is scaling up its use of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and other vaccines with a particular focus on improving its work in routine immunisation, as well as extending the package of vaccines used in humanitarian emergencies. Despite the high prices and logistical difficulties, MSF has now carried out PCV vaccinations in emergency contexts in Central African Republic, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Uganda. We urgently need easier access to the pneumonia vaccine to reduce child mortality in other emergencies.

Press release
“GSK has taken a critical step forward for children in emergencies,” says Dr Joanne Liu, MSF’s...
Press release
“We’ve seen too many children die of pneumonia, and we’re not going to stop until we know that all...
Gallery
An unprecedented vaccination campaign is under way in the Central African Republic , with the...
Press release
MSF has filed a ‘patent opposition’ in India to prevent US pharmaceutical company Pfizer from...
Press release
"If vaccine prices continue to spiral out of control, we will continue to see countries in Africa...
Article
“Families are living with almost nothing at all and fearing for their basic security every day. The...
Video
A short video highlighting the difficulty of vaccinating kids caught in crisis settings such as in...
Press release
The percentage of immunised children in the Central African Republic (CAR) has fallen sharply since...