WHO approves first-ever malaria vaccine.
The first malaria vaccine for African children has been authorized by the World Health Organization. Malaria has been one of humanity’s worst scourges, killing the majority of newborns and infants.
The vaccine should be carried out throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and other areas with moderate to high malaria transmission, according to the World Health Organization, after the success of trial vaccination programs in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi. The World Health Organization’s Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, called it a “historic moment.”
Malaria has been one of humanity’s worst scourges for millennia, killing the majority of newborns and infants.
One of medicine’s greatest accomplishments is the discovery of a vaccine after more than a century of trying.
Six years ago, the RTS,S vaccination was shown to be efficacious. “The long-awaited malaria vaccine for children is a scientific, child-health, and malaria-control breakthrough,” he added. “It has the potential to save tens of thousands of young lives every year.”
The vaccine, produced by pharmaceutical behemoth GSK, will not be able to replace existing malaria-prevention methods such as insecticide-treated bed nets. It will be used in conjunction with them in order to come closer to the objective of zero malaria fatalities.
It also won’t be used outside of Africa, where other types of malaria are more common, which the vaccine can’t protect against.
The Path malaria vaccine initiative’s Dr. Ashley Birkett described the vaccine’s introduction as a “historic moment” that would “remove dread” from families.
“Imagine your young kid being healthy and full of promise one day, and then dying in a few of weeks after being bitten by an infected mosquito while playing with friends or resting in a bed,” he said.
“Malaria is a big issue; it’s terrifying and terrible.”