Pentavalent vaccine to protect children in Timor Leste

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First time Timor Leste has introduced a new vaccine with GAVI support

Geneva, 25 October 2012 — Children in Timor Leste are set to receive protection from five major childhood diseases after the country’s introduction of pentavalent vaccine as part of its national immunisation programme.

The first children received the five-in-one vaccine on Thursday at a ceremony held in the capital, Dili, hosted by the Timor Leste Health Minister Dr Sergio Lobo. The vaccine will be rolled out nationally in the coming weeks.

This new vaccine is important for our children...It is our responsibility as parents to safeguard the health of our children.

Taur Matan Ruak, Timor Leste President

"With GAVI support for pentavalent vaccine, Timor-Leste has the opportunity to vaccinate its children against five major killer diseases in one shot and significantly improve the health of communities across the country," said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of the GAVI Alliance.

Timore Leste is the 63rd country to introduce pentavalent vaccine with GAVI support. It is also the first time Timor Leste has introduced a new vaccine with GAVI funding.

Timor Leste President Taur Matan Ruak added: “This new vaccine is important for our children. All parents should bring their children who are below 1 year old to the clinic for their children’s complete immunization. A child is fully protected if the child goes to the clinic five times for immunization. It is our responsibility as parents to safeguard the health of our children.”

Pentavalent vaccine offers protection against five major childhood diseases – diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B, and haemophilus influenzae type b.

1 in 5

1 in 5 of all children who die before the age of five lose their lives to vaccine-preventable diseases.

WHO Department of Immunisation, Vaccines and Biologicals’ estimates and projections, as of October 2012

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