Pfizer Advocates Global Access to Vaccines in Developing Countries

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Rebecca Ejifoma

Pfizer has restated its commitment to increase access to immunisations in countries that carry greatest proportion of global burden of pneumococcal disease, which can help prevent diseases and save lives.

In support of this commitment and to help address the practical constraints experienced by health workers operating in many GAVI countries, Pfizer developed Prevenar 13 in the Multi-Dose Vial-MDV presentation (four doses per vial).

It says this new presentation will significantly help reduce storage requirements and shipping costs incommunities with health systems that are still developing. In April 2016, the MDV presentation received a positive opinion from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the EuropeanMedicines Agency (EMA). Subsequently the MDV was pre-qualified by the WHO in July 2016.

This January, Pfizer launched the new multi-dose vial- MDV which was pre-qualified in accordance with WHO’s ‘open container policy.’ With its ‘open container’ attributes, it allows for the fourth dose to be used for up to 28 days after the first dose in drawn and providing there commended cold storage requirements have been met.

To ensure the efficient use of the multi-dose vial, Pfizer is supporting GAVI countries with a refresher training of trainers programme on a variety of immunisation topics including the proper handling of multi dose vials with open container policy.

During the first four months of launch, 15 countries received the new MDV and nine of these have completed the training oftrainers’ programmes. These training sessions were well-received by the national and regional trainers.

Georgiana Golodnius, Training Project Manager of AMP Services. “We developed training materials that are easy to use for health workers and allow for interactive learning process at all levels.” In the countries where we have implemented training of the trainers, 97.3 per cent of the participants think the developed training tools are useful and relevant.”