Sixty-three thousand doses of Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines will be available in all clinics in the country by next month.
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) says the $1.5 million consignment is to ensure all children under one year have access to vaccines and protected against Pneumococcus – a bacterium that causes pneumonia, meningitis, arthritis and bronchitis.
The vaccines are supported by the GAVI Vaccine Alliance and procured by UNICEF on behalf of Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services.
Meanwhile, Chief of UNICEF Solomon Islands Field Office Mr Yun Jong Kang said, the vaccines will support government’s efforts towards the Millennium Development Goal four to reduce childhood mortality preserving and enhancing the health of the children especially against diseases that were not covered by existing vaccines.
He adds the vaccine is crucial because the risk of serious pneumococcal disease is high in the first year of life until the first 24 months of life adding vaccinating against pneumococcal disease is a cost effective way of preventing the disease.
UNICEF is also supporting the Ministry of Health and Medical Services with the procurement of cold chain equipment to store and protect the vaccines with introductory trainings to health workers commencing next week.