The World Health Organization on Wednesday recommended that children with moderate to high malaria transmission in sub-Saharan Africa and other regions of the continent receive the malaria vaccine.
The vaccine, known as Mosquirix, proved effective in a pilot program in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi that has reached more than 800,000 children since 2019.
The WHO said malaria is the biggest killer of children in sub-Saharan Africa, killing more than 260,000 children under the age of 5 each year.
The vaccine, which requires four doses, over the counter P. falciparum, “the deadliest malaria parasite globally and most prevalent in Africa.”
“For centuries, malaria has plagued sub-Saharan Africa, causing immense personal suffering,” Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa, said in a statement. “We have long been hoping for an effective malaria vaccine and now, for the first time, we have such a vaccine recommended for widespread use. Today’s recommendation offers a glimmer of hope for the continent that is most heavily affected by the disease. burden and we expect many more African children to be protected from malaria and develop into healthy adults.”
According to the WHO, data from the pilot program showed that more than two-thirds of children who were not sleeping under bed nets were benefiting from the vaccine, and “deadly severe malaria, even There was also a 30% reduction in areas where pesticide was introduced. -Treatment nets are widely used and there is good access to diagnosis and treatment.”
The pilot program also found that the vaccine had a “favourable safety profile” and was “cost-effective”.
According to wall street journalOf course, it may still be years until a vaccine is widely available.
The vaccine has been developed for 30 years by the global pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline; PATH, a global nonprofit focused on health issues; And some African research organizations, WHO said.
The WHO said the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided late-stage development funding for the vaccine.