High Global Vaccine Prices Could Worsen Angola’s Deadly Yellow Fever Outbreak
Angola is experiencing its worst yellow fever outbreak in 30 years, says the World Health Organization. The mosquito-borne disease was first reported in the capital Luanda in December last year. The disease has now infected more than 490 people and killed 198, says WHO.
The solution so far has been to launch a massive vaccination campaign, and WHO and its partners had already vaccinated 5.7 million people by the end of March. But a global shortage of the the already expensive yellow fever vaccine is thwarting efforts to stop the outbreak, and 1.5 million doses of the vaccine are still needed. For now, the outbreak has only affected six of Angola’s 18 provinces, but scientists fear that travelers and Angola’s large number of migrant Chinese workers may spread the disease beyond its borders.
In 2013, the vaccination cost 82 cents a dose for routine immunizations in Africa, according to WHO, a price most developing countries simply can’t afford. Last year, Doctors Without Borders released a report on the growing price of vaccines revealing that it is now 68 times more expensive to vaccinate a child than it was in 2001.
- Health Care