Drugmaker Pfizer Inc. has agreed to provide hundreds of millions of doses of its lucrative vaccine against pneumonia and meningitis at a fraction of the usual price for young children in poor countries.
The deal to provide 260 million shots of its Prevnar 13 vaccine for a few dollars each is Pfizer's third agreement under an innovative program through which pharmaceutical companies, governments, health groups and charities collaborate to bring poor countries a long-term supply of affordable vaccines against deadly diseases.
Prevnar 13, called Prevenar outside the U.S., protects against 13 strains of pneumococcal disease. The bacterial disease can cause painful ear infections common in young children and serious infections that can kill or leave survivors deaf, paralyzed or with permanent learning or speech disabilities. Those diseases include pneumonia, bloodstream infections and meningitis, an infection of tissue around the brain and spinal cord.