Maputo — Mozambique’s Ministry of Health on 10 April will launch a new vaccine to protect children from the illnesses caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae. The vaccine will be officially launched by Prime Minister Alberto Vaquina at the health centre in Boane, in the southern province of Maputo.
The pneumococcal vaccine PCV-10 targets the main types of bacteria that cause pneumonia. The bacteria are also be responsible for a long list of other illnesses ranging from bronchitis to septicaemia or meningitis.
Given to children under the age of 12 months in three doses, PCV-10 offers eighty per cent protection for up to six years.
The vaccine will become part of the routine immunisation programme run by the Mozambican government, UNICEF and other health partners.
It is estimated that ten thousand Mozambican children under the age of five die every year from pneumonia, about a tenth of all deaths in that age range.