Malaria has been one of the worst disease on humanity. It mostly kills babies and infants.
However, WHO has officially approved the RTS,S vaccine. It was initially shown to be effextive six years ago. After the success of pilot immunisation programmes in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi, the World Health Organization, it has been announced that the vaccine should be rolled out across sub-Saharan Africa and in other regions with moderate to high malaria transmission.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, said it is “a historic moment”.
"I longed for the day that we would have an effective vaccine against this ancient and terrible disease, and today is that day"
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announces that the WHO is recommending broad use of the world's first malaria vaccine pic.twitter.com/YV9KYQGoBC
— Sky News (@SkyNews) October 6, 2021
“The long-awaited malaria vaccine for children is a breakthrough for science, child health and malaria control,” he said. “[It] could save tens of thousands of young lives each year.”
Malaria is a parasite that invades and destroys our blood cells in order to reproduce, and it’s spread by the bite of mosquitoes.
The vaccine needs four doses to be effective, the first three are given months apart at five, six and seven months old, and a final booster must be given at around 18 months.
The results, from injection of more than 2.3 million doses, showed:
- the vaccine was safe and still led to a 30% reduction in severe malaria.
- it has shown to be effective with more than two-thirds of children who don’t have a bed-net to sleep under.
- there was no negative impact/alteration on other routine vaccines or other measures to prevent malaria.
- the vaccine is cost-effective
It truly is a great news for Africa, where more than 260,000 children died from the disease in 2019.