This is extremely good news for literally millions of children in the developing world — including India, parts of South America, and much of Africa. Merck and GlaxoSmithKline are going to make supplies of Rotateq® and Rotarix® (respectively) available for about $5 per course, through the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (“GAVI”).
Here is a bit of the Reuters item — do go read it all:
. . . .GAVI said on Tuesday its cut-price deal would allow it “to respond to ever-increasing demand from developing countries” and provide the shots this year for 3 million children in eight poor countries.
By 2016, GAVI said it planned to roll out the vaccines in more than 40 of the world’s poorest countries, immunizing more than 70 million children.
Around 95 percent of the contracted supply of 132 million doses will be procured at a cost of $5 per two-dose course, GAVI said in a statement. This is a two-thirds price cut compared to the previous lowest price offered to GAVI of $15 a course.
In the United States, the same vaccine course costs public institutions $177 and private health providers $213. . . .
Kudos to Merck and GSK!