By Fergus Walsh Medical correspondent, BBC News
23 January 2011
New vaccine could save thousands of lives.
A new vaccine against pneumonia is being rolled out in Africa which estimates suggest could save more than half a million lives a year globally.
The Gavi Alliance, a global health partnership of public and private sectors for immunisation, says 19 countries will get the jab at first.
Kenyan children have begun receiving it and Sierra Leone, Yemen, Honduras and Guyana will follow this year.
Infants in Nicaragua also started receiving the vaccine a few weeks ago.
Many more countries could benefit if the funding becomes available.
Gavi says it needs an extra £500m ($800m) annually for the next five years to meet a shortfall in immunisation for existing and new vaccines.
The pneumonia vaccine protects against pneumococcal disease, the leading cause of severe pneumonia in children. It also guards against a form of meningitis and blood poisoning.
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