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Sickle-Cell Anemia: Vaccines in Wealthy Countries May Save Lives of Children in Africa

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The New York Times reports that "a new study, published last week in the British journal Lancet, showed that invasive bacteria were an important cause of those children’s deaths and that many of the bacteria were the same kinds that affect children in wealthy countries, which have vaccines against them.

Those findings suggest that new antibacterial vaccines used in the wealthy world could save the lives of many African children, the authors wrote. (Old vaccines against measles, mumps and polio are cheap, but newer antibacterial ones like Hib and Prevnar are usually much more expensive, limiting their use in poor countries.)

Researchers also said that using antibiotics among these children as a preventive measure, which is controversial because of fears of creating antibiotic resistance, could save lives."

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