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Life-saving Vaccines should be Affordable

About four years ago, I was still working, I have a teammate whose child was confined due to pneumococcal meningitis. Series of operations and medications. I can recall how I offered a prayer for the child’s fast recovery.

I asked my teammate a few questions and I learned that it could have been prevented or at least lessen the effect if the kid was injected with pneumococcal vaccines. The child didn’t make it, she died at the age of 4. Seeing your child lifeless in a hospital bed, I cannot imagine how painful it was for the mother.

During that conversation I made a mental note to ensure that pneumococcal shot will be given to my children if the time comes that I’ll have kids of my own. What a horror to lose a child. I don’t want to experience that.

Fast forward, I gave birth to Elijah. Immunization is pricey. Municipal Health Centers offer vaccines but NOT PCV (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine). It is priced P5,000 per shot at Elijah’s pedia, she gave me a P500 discount per shot. Still pricey. It got me thinking, how about those who cannot afford this much? Their child will just die because of it? 

Let’s #AskPharma to lower the price of this PCV!

I was invited to a knowledge sharing session with Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) or Doctors Without Borders I’ve learned that PCV can be as affordable as $5 for 3 shots!


Dra. Kitts Sarte, Pediatrician



Pharma campanies should not take advantage of poor people.

In 2013, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, released an evaluation that concluded the price it pays for the pneumonia vaccine is likely well above the cost to make the vaccine. In the meantime, Pfizer and GSK have already reaped more than $25 billion in sales for this vaccine since over the past five years, the majority from sales in wealthy countries.

MSF doesn’t believe life-saving vaccines should be sold for huge profits in developing countries. Companies must do their part to reduce vaccine prices and lower the overall cost to immunize a child.

The Philippines is one of the 15 countries that together account for 75% of childhood pneumonia cases worlwide.

-Among the children under 5 years old, pneumonia is the leading cause of mortality.

-In Regions VI (Western Visayas), VII (Central Visayas), and VII (Eastern Visayas), the total number of children under 5 years old with pneumonia that have been seen and given treatment from January to December 2012 were 89,221 and 85,923 respectively (WHO data).

Let’s help MSF! A collective voice of concerned supporters and patients can make a difference.

Sign the petion now. Click here.

On April 24 to 30, 2016 the list of signatures will be handed over to the respective headquarters of GSK and Pfizer in New York City in time for World Immunization Week. Great time to do so as the theme is about Closing the Immunization Gap.



Together, let’s make a stand on this. Let’s #AskPharma to lower the price of pneumonia vaccine at $5 (3 shots) per child!


In case you did not click the link for the MSF profile above, Doctors Without Borders provides assistance to populations in distress, to victims of natural or man-made disasters and to victims of armed conflict. They do so irrespective of race, religion, creed or political convictions.

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