Vaccination

Immunisation is one of the most cost-effective medical interventions in public health. However, it is estimated that approximately two million people die every year from diseases that are preventable by a series of vaccines recommended for children by organisations such as the World Health Organization and MSF. Currently, these are DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis), measles, polio, hepatitis B, Haemophilius influenzae type b (Hib), pneumococcal conjugate, rotavirus, BCG (against tuberculosis), rubella, yellow fever and human papillomavirus - although not all vaccines are recommended everywhere.

In countries where vaccination coverage is generally low, MSF strives to offer routine vaccinations for children under five when possible as part of its basic healthcare programme. Vaccination also forms a key part of MSF’s response to outbreaks of measles, yellow fever and, less frequently, meningitis. Large-scale vaccination campaigns involve awareness-raising activities regarding the benefits of immunisation as well as the set-up of vaccination posts in places where people are likely to gather. A typical campaign lasts between two and three weeks and can reach hundreds of thousands of people.

MSF conducted 258,800 routine vaccinations in 2015.

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