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Pfizer accelerating global access to vaccines in developing countries

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By Gloria Orogun

AS part of its commitment towards constant innovation and development towards increasing access to immunisations in countries that carry the greatest proportion of global burden of pneumococcal disease, Pfizer has made it’s Prevenar 13 pneumococcal vaccine available in the multi-dose Vial-MDV presentation (4 doses per vial).

In a statement, the company said this new presentation will help to significantly reduce storage requirements and shipping costs in communities with health systems that are still developing.

In January 2017, Pfizer launched the new multi-dose vial- MDV which was prequalified in accordance with WHO’s ‘open container policy.’ With its ‘open container’ attributes, it allows for the fourth dose to be used for up to 28 days after the first dose in drawn and providing the recommended cold storage requirements have been met.

To ensure efficient use of the multi-dose vial, Pfizer is supporting Gavi countries with a refresher training of trainers program on a variety of immunization topics including the proper handling of multi dose vials with open container policy. Pfizer partnered with AMP Services, an organization dedicated to providing the tools to promote preventive medicine and public health worldwide, to execute the training of trainers sessions in 16 countries in 2017.

During the first four months of launch, 15 countries have received the new MDV and nine of these have completed the training of trainers programmes. These training sessions were well received by the national and regional trainers.

“We developed training materials that are easy to use for health workers and allow for interactive learning process at all levels”, said Georgiana Golodnius, Training Project Manager of AMP Services. In the countries where we have implemented training of the trainers, 97.3 per cent of the participants think the developed training tools are useful and relevant.

“Indeed we learnt a lot from the training and I feel the knowledge gained will be used to train other health workers in the country,” said Mr Mwagomba, Malawi.

 

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