World's First Malaria Vaccine Approved By WHO 2021
GENEVA, Switzerland: The World Health Organization on Wednesday approved the RTS, S / AS01 malaria vaccine. The first against the mosquito-borne disease. which kills more than 400,000 people a year, African children.
"Today, the WHO is recommending the widespread use of the world's first malaria vaccine,"said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreasus, the agency's director general.
The decision follows a review of a pilot program deployed in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi since 201. which included more than two million doses of the vaccine, first developed in 1987 by pharmaceutical company GSK.
After reviewing the evidence from those countries, WHO said it was "recommending the widespread use of the world's first malaria vaccine," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebraius. (The agency's director general)
The WHO said it was recommending four doses for children up to the age of two in sub-Saharan Africa and other regions with moderate to high malaria infection. One child dies of malaria every two minutes, the agency said.
According to 2019 WHO figures, more than half of all malaria deaths worldwide are in six sub-Saharan African countries and a quarter in Nigeria.
Symptoms include fever, headache, and muscle aches, followed by chills, fever, and sweating.
The vaccine pilot found that "severe malaria is reduced by 30 percent," said Kate O'Brien. (director of vaccination, vaccines and biology at the WHO)
The vaccine is "possible to deliver," she added, "and it is not reaching ... reaching ... two-thirds of children in those countries who do not sleep under the bed nets are now benefiting from the vaccine."
Many vaccines exist against viruses and bacteria. This is the first time that the WHO has recommended the widespread use of vaccines against human parasites.
This vaccine works against Plasmodium falciparum - one of the five malaria parasitic species and the most deadly.
Pedro Alonso, director of the WHO Global Malaria Program, said: "This is a major breakthrough from a scientific point of view.
'Ray of Hope'
Wednesday's recommendation "gives a ray of hope for the continent with the highest incidence of the disease," said Matsidiso Moti, regional director of Africa's WHO.
The estimated cost of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa is more than 12 12 billion a year, Alonso told a news conference after the announcement.
The next step is to fund the recommended vaccine before it reaches children in need.
"This will be the next big step ... then we will be prepared to measure the dose and decide where the vaccine will be most useful and how it will be deployed," O'Brien said.
"Global stakeholders, including Gavi, will consider a new malaria vaccination program for sub-Saharan African countries . how to finance it," the Gavi Vaccine Alliance said in a statement following the WHO announcement.
The fight against malaria gained momentum in April. when researchers at the University of Oxford in the UK announced that their Matrix-M vaccine candidates had become the first to cross the 75 per cent efficiency threshold of the WHO.
Germany's Biotech, which has developed the coronavirus vaccine with the American giant Pfizer, aims to launch trials for the malaria vaccine next year using the same aim mRNA technology.
The WHO hopes that this latest recommendation will encourage scientists to develop more malaria vaccines. We can say thanks to WHO for approved World's First Malaria Vaccine.
Alonso said the RTS, S / AS01 is "first generation, really important," but we hope ... the area is stimulating to complete other types of vaccines or to go beyond this.