Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) refers to the problem of bacteria becoming resistant to the medicines that can normally kill them. Such drug-resistant infections, which are difficult to treat and can be deadly, are recognized as a global public health challenge.
Companies and governments are currently in New York at the UN General Assembly discussing a range of actions to tackle drug-resistant infections, are estimated to cause up to 10 million premature deaths a year by 2050, if resistance levels aren’t curbed. Some measures can take years – like developing new drugs and diagnostics—but there are also some steps that can be taken RIGHT NOW to slow antimicrobial resistance.
Instead of waiting to treat infections, how about protecting kids from getting preventable infections in the first place? Making sure kids are fully vaccinated lowers the use of antibiotic drugs and thus slows the development of resistance.
More specifically, research suggests that full coverage of the pneumonia vaccine has the potential of reducing antibiotic use by 47% which equals up to 11.4 million days. But the high price of the pneumonia vaccine remains a barrier for many countries to introduce the vaccine into their regular immunization schedules.
Pfizer and GSK can make a difference NOW by dropping the price of their pneumonia vaccines to $5/child for all developing countries.