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[Editorial] The case for action on childhood pneumonia

Pneumonia kills almost 1 million children each year, and more than 80% of these deaths are children under 2 years of age. While not solely a disease of developing countries—it is the leading cause of child hospitalisation in the USA—it disproportionately affects children living with poverty or malnourishment who are the most vulnerable to infection. A key defence is immunisation, but over 25 million children under 2 years were not immunised with the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in 2016. Available vaccines are produced by just two manufacturers and priced out of the reach of many countries, even with assistance from Gavi, which has immunised 109 million children against pneumococcal disease as of last year.