By Kate Kelland

LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer is to offer its pneumococcal vaccine at the lowest possible price to non-governmental organizations seeking to protect vulnerable people from illness in humanitarian crises.

In what it called a major expansion of its humanitarian assistance work, the drugmaker said its Prevenar 13 shot, which protects babies and children against pneumonia and other diseases, would be offered in a new multi-dose vial at the lowest prevailing global price, currently $3.10 per dose.

"In addition, given the acute need for aid on the ground, Pfizer will donate all sales proceeds for the first year of this program to humanitarian groups undertaking the difficult work of reaching vulnerable populations in emergency settings," the company said in a statement.

The move follows a similar one by the British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, which said in September it would cut the price of its pneumococcal vaccine, Synflorix, to $3.05 when it is used in humanitarian crises.

The World Health Organization said last month it was seeking to establish an emergency vaccine supply system aimed at getting vital shots to vulnerable people in crises such as wars or natural disasters.

(Editing by Greg Mahlich)