3 January 2013

Africa: Unicef Tender Supports Middle Income Country Access to Affordable New Vaccines

Copenhagen — To help improve global access to new vaccines that protect children against the leading killers of pneumonia and diarrhoea, UNICEF is inviting manufacturers to participate in a tender that will help establish affordable, sustainable supplies of Pneumococcal conjugate and Rotavirus vaccines for Middle Income Countries from 2013 to 2015.

The tender also calls for manufacturers' proposals for the Human Papillomavirus vaccine to protect against the main cause of cervical cancer.

The disparity between the amounts Low Income and Middle Income Countries pay for the same vaccine can be significant.

"The current market prices of new vaccines put these products out of reach for many countries whose economies have transitioned from 'Low' to 'Middle' Income over the last 20 years," said Shanelle Hall, Director of UNICEF's Supply Division. "This tender highlights work with the UN World Health Organization, industry, governments and partners to establish affordable, sustainable price levels for countries that are not eligible for international financial support to introduce these new and important life-saving vaccines."

For countries that wish to continue to purchase on their own, UNICEF, through this tender, will improve pricing transparency by publishing reference price levels, product profiles and characteristics. This information will serve as the basis for negotiations between interested governments and manufacturers. The final price would be independently contracted.

"Middle Income Countries have long-established, robust national immunization programmes that have contributed to dramatic reductions in child deaths and disability from diseases such as measles and polio over the past two decades," said Ms. Hall.

"Making sure that children in Middle Income Countries have access to a new generation of life-saving supplies is critical. This tender builds on industry's commitment to improved access and sustainable pricing consistent with the tenets of tiered pricing. Our goal is to help catalyse a more efficient and healthy market, which combined with increasing country commitment, will serve children in the decades to come," she added.

The World Bank classifies a Middle Income Country as a country with a per capita Gross National Income between US$1,026 and US$12,475. Today, Middle Income Countries are home to 75 per cent of the world's poor who live on less than US$2 a day.

Middle Income governments that have so far expressed an indicative interest in the outcome of this tender include: Albania, Botswana, Cape Verde, Egypt, Gabon, Jordan, Lebanon, Moldova, Morocco, Namibia, the State of Palestine, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Syria, Tunisia and Turkmenistan.

UNICEF is awaiting manufacturers' responses and expects to begin issuing purchase orders on behalf of subscribing countries as early as June 2013.

The Request for Proposal RFP-DAN-2012-501580 for Pneumococcal, Rotavirus and Human Papillomavirus Vaccines is available here. Suppliers, please note that the deadline is 16:00 (Copenhagen time) 31 January 2013.

UNICEF's strategy for vaccine procurement in Middle Income Countries is presented here

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