Vaccine Superheroes to the Rescue!

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post marks the first in a series from the ONE Campaign about their support of the international vaccine program to “save 4 million children’s lives in 5 years.” Look for another every Monday until the end of May.

More than 8 million kids around the world die each year before their 5th birthday. Two of the biggest killers of these kids are pneumonia and diarrhea — which kill more than AIDS, TB and malaria combined! Here’s the illustrated story of two villains (pneumonia and diarrhea), two superheroes (vaccines), and why we need your help!

For years, pneumonia and diarrhea ran rampant across the developing world — Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and South East Asia — killing children and making it difficult for families and communities to stay healthy and prosperous.

Bouts of pneumonia and diarrhea are bad enough anywhere in the world, but in these regions, a lack of clean water, improper hygiene and poor access to health facilities and treatment contributed to so many children’s deaths from these two diseases.

In the Western world, vaccines were developed to help fight pneumonia and diarrhea for those who could afford them, but they still weren’t ready for kids in the poorest places of the world (who needed vaccines that were suited to environments different than the developed world).

Vaccine manufacturers didn’t really have great incentives to change their vaccines, because many developing countries were too small and too poor to afford to buy the new vaccines or negotiate prices.

In 2000, a new partnership called GAVI was formed to help incentivize the development of new vaccines and to improve access to ones on the market. They did this by:

  • Pooling vaccine demand from smaller, low-income countries to drive down prices
  • Asking donors to think innovatively about financing for vaccines in ways that would motivate the pharmaceutical industry to create new vaccines
  • Partnering with groups like UNICEF and the WHO to deliver vaccines
  • Now, thanks to many donors and the pharmaceutical industry, we have TWO BRAND NEW VACCINES to fight strains of pneumonia and diarrhea. They’re suitable for kids in the developing world, and their prices are lower so they’re more affordable for local governments and donors.

    These are exciting new vaccines, but they need help (money!) in getting out to the people who need them. ONE’s excited to launch our new campaign to help raise money for GAVI and awareness of child vaccine programs around the world. Together, we can help save nearly 4 million lives by 2015!
    TAKE ACTION: Sign the petition to help stop preventable diseases from killing children.

    This post was originally published on ONE’s blog.

    Related Stories:

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    ‘Medicine For All’ Bill Dies in Senate At Urging Of Conservative Government

    Nevada Comes In Last For Children’s Health Care


    Illustration by Malaka Gharib for ONE.

    written by Erin Hohlfelder, a blogger for ONE.


    jessica w.
    jessica w5 years ago


    jessica w.
    jessica w5 years ago


    wizzy wizard
    wiz wi5 years ago


    John Doe
    james rico5 years ago

    its just another example of corporate greed and abuse of power over the people. even when they are shone the harm vaccines do they refuse to accept it. they are a law on to themselves

    Brigid C.
    Brigid C5 years ago

    Have signed thanks so much~

    Alicia N.
    Alicia N5 years ago

    signed before, thanks and good luck.

    Marina J.
    Marina Joslin5 years ago

    What the children in poor countries need is proper nutrition, clean water and better access to health care, not necessarily more vaccinations.

    Linda L.
    Linda L5 years ago

    Thanks for addressing this issue!

    Lindsey DTSW
    .5 years ago

    Scott, you state, "Nations requiring the most vaccines tend to have the worst infant mortality rates. For example, the United States requires infants to receive 26 vaccines -- the most in the world -- yet more than six U.S. infants die per every 1000 live births. "

    In 2009, the nations with the worst infant mortality were:

    Angola 180.21 per 1,000 live births
    Sierra Leone 154.43 per 1,000
    Afghanistan 151.95 per 1,000
    Liberia 138.24 per 1,000
    Niger 116.66 per 1,000
    Somalia 109.19 per 1,000
    Mozambique 105.80 per 1,000
    Mali 102.05 per 1,000
    Zambia 101.20

    Those nations must have exceptionally high numbers of mandatory vaccines given to their babies.

    Or perhaps not. Perhaps infant mortality is due to a very wide range of factors.

    And the United States is overwhelmingly far from being one of the 'worst' nations when it comes to infant mortality. We aren't where we should be; however, for 2009 we were 46th out of 224 nations - in the top 20%. Which means 80% of the world is "worse" when it comes to infant mortality. While I don't like our ranking it hardly puts us anywhere near the 'worst'.

    So I'm afraid that the United States doesn't belong in the 'for example' category for that statement.

    Scott Freewheeler

    Vaccine Super-Villans Killing our Children!

    New study: Nations requiring the most vaccines tend to have the worst infant mortality rates

    For example, the United States requires infants to receive 26 vaccines -- the most in the world -- yet more than six U.S. infants die per every 1000 live births. In contrast, Sweden and Japan administer 12 vaccines to infants, the least amount, and report less than three deaths per 1000 live births.

    This is proof enough to wait untill there is more proper science.