Last week in separate deals with the GAVI Alliance, the drug companies Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) agreed to increase sales of cut-price pneumonia vaccines by 180 million doses, a 50% increase from previous commitments. The two companies will supply the extra vaccine through 2023, building on an original commitment last year to supply 300 million doses apiece. The price per dose, $3.50, is a 90 percent discount compared to market value in developed countries.

Last June, donors exceeded expectations by pledging more than $4.3 million in donations to the GAVI Alliance, a public-private partnership set up to speed the introduction of vaccines into the world's poorest countries. These generous donations have made it possible for GAVI to finance more vaccination programs in more countries. The latest announcement from Pfizer and GSK means that even more people will have access to lifesaving vaccines.