GENEVA, 3 December 2012 – A revolutionary meningitis vaccine will reach the 100 millionth person this week in a region of Africa that has been plagued by deadly epidemics for more than a century. The milestone will take place in northern Nigeria, part of Africa’s “meningitis belt,” where the country is conducting its second seasonal immunisation campaign against the disease.
The historic achievement comes two years after the MenAfriVac® vaccine was first launched in Burkina Faso. Since then, nine other countries have held vaccination campaigns to protect people from ages 1 to 29 against meningitis A.
Nigeria will vaccinate 16 million people over the next two weeks and Cameroon and Chad are also conducting immunisation campaigns this week targeting 5.5 million and 2.3 million people respectively. By the end of this year, the vaccine will have reached more than 112 million people, providing widespread and long-awaited protection.
The achievement will be recognised at the GAVI Alliance Partners’ Forum, which is bringing together developing countries, donors, civil society, technical and research institutes, health agencies, and the vaccine industry this week in Dar es Salaam, the capital of the United Republic of Tanzania.