GlaxoSmithKline’s Synflorix vaccine will be distributed across Pakistan as part of an international immunization program targeting children in the world’s poorest countries.

The GAVI Alliance, which works with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is directing the program.

Through the alliance, vaccines are made available at heavily discounted prices. GSK (NYSE: GSK) is offering Synflorix at a 90 percent discount.

Pakistan is the first country eligible under GAVI criteria to distribute a pneumococcal vaccine, and an estimated 4.8 million children will be vaccinated.

“We congratulate Pakistan on the introduction of life-saving pneumococcal vaccines for children, which is possible with funding from the GAVI Alliance,” said Christophe Weber, general manager of GSK Vaccines. “Through our research and our work to accelerate access to innovative vaccines, GSK continues to play an important role in helping protect millions of children from infectious disease. Increased vaccination means more children will be able to live healthy lives.”

The GSK vaccine will be distributed later in Madagascar and Zambia.

Kenya and Ethiopia received the vaccine earlier.

GSK says it will provide a minimum of 380 million doses of Synflorix by 2023 to protect as many as 160 million children. 

GSK operates its U.S. headquarters in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

[GSK ARCHIVE: Check out a 10-year archive of GSK stories as reported in WRAL Tech Wire.]