The Pneumococcal Awareness Council of Experts (PACE), launched by Sabin in 2006, focused on pneumococcal disease awareness as well as prevention and advocacy efforts. In the five years that PACE was active, PACE reached people in more than 25 countries and helped motivate countries to introduce life-saving pneumococcal conjugate vaccines

According to the WHO, an estimated 1.6 million people die of pneumococcal disease annually, most of whom are young children in developing countries. Pneumococcal disease is vaccine-preventable, but resistance to conventional antibiotic treatments has increased the need for expanded immunization and effective prevention policies.

In 2006, the Sabin Vaccine Institute convened global experts and leaders to form PACE. At the time, two pneumococcal vaccines were licensed for use in the United States, but many lower-income countries around the world lacked access to the vaccines. Sabin, led in part by then Executive Vice President Ciro de Quadros, strove to accelerate the introduction of pneumococcal vaccines globally through PACE’s media outreach, original research, discussion forums and a Global Call to Action.

Guided by a mission to achieve global awareness of the burden of pneumococcal disease and the value of its prevention, PACE members led the global effort to inform policy makers about the disease’s threat, advocate for prevention through widespread vaccination and secure commitment from countries to combat the disease. PACE worked with more than 100 professional medical societies around the globe to inform policymakers about the global threat of pneumococcal disease and encourage governments to prioritize prevention.

Through the PACE Global Leadership Award, the Council recognized governments, individuals and organizations that championed pneumococcal disease prevention and whose actions contributed toward public policy advances in vaccine introduction.

PACE also expanded awareness of pneumococcal disease by helping to launch World Pneumonia Day, which is now recognized annually on November 12. Each year, the day aims to bring the health crisis to the public’s attention and encourages advocates, donors and policy makers alike to take action to combat the disease. Organizations and individuals around the world hold events large and small to mark the day and raise awareness. You can learn more about ongoing efforts at stoppneumonia.org.

PACE concluded in 2011, following five of years of successful work engaging global networks. Sabin continues to support evidence generation to improve pneumococcal disease awareness and advocate for the value of the disease’s prevention through ongoing studies in Brazil, Chile and Paraguay.