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‘Collective Action’ To Lower Vaccine Prices Can Help Create Equitable, Sustained Immunization Access In Africa

Project Syndicate: Africa’s Vaccination Test
Folake Olayinka, New Voices fellow at the Aspen Institute

“…Without eligibility for the lower [vaccine] prices obtained by Gavi, many … countries may not be able to afford newer vaccines. In order to cope with this challenge, African political leaders have committed to invest in the continent’s capacity to develop and produce its own vaccines. But this is a long-term strategy that will require coordinated regional investment planning, market development, and stronger regulatory capabilities. … While Africa can and should do more to improve vaccination, the global community also has a responsibility to make a concerted effort to bring down vaccine costs. The recently announced reduction in the price of pneumococcal vaccine is a step in the right direction, but it is not enough. Without collective action, equitable and sustained access to immunization in Africa will remain a major problem — and children’s lives will continue to be lost” (5/5).