Revolutionary & Affordable New Meningitis Vaccine Campaign Intended to Rid Africa of Deadly Bacterial Epidemic
(CP-Africa) – Burkina Faso became the first country to launch a recently launched vaccine (MenAfriVac) set to wipe out meningitis on the continent and was designed specifically for Africa to help health workers eliminate meningococcal A epidemics in the 25 countries of the meningitis belt.
“With a one-time investment to vaccinate populations in all countries of the meningitis belt, nearly 150,000 young lives could be saved by 2015, and epidemic meningitis could become a thing of the past. This is within reach. We must not fail,” said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan.
Priced at about 50 cents per dose, the vaccine was developed by Meningitis Vaccine Project (MVP) – a partnership between WHO and the global non-profit organization PATH, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Christopher J. Elias, President and CEO of PATH said the model created through the development of this vaccine is “groundbreaking.” “MenAfriVac may well serve as a model for developing vaccines in the future to combat other deadly diseases in low-resource settings,” he added.
Advantages of MenAfriVac over previous meningitis vaccines
MenAfriVac is reported to be able to protect children as young as age one and protects people for a longer period of time.