October 07, 2021

WHO Approves Use of Malaria Vaccine in Africa

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has approved the use of a malaria vaccine, which will be used to vaccinate children in Africa.

Per their data, 94% of cases and deaths related to malaria – which is transmitted by mosquito bites, and induces vomiting and fever – occur in Africa. In 2019, 386 000 Africans died from it.

On Wednesday, 6 October, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, declared that it had approved the use of the cost-effective Mosquirix vaccine.

Developed by British pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline, 2.3 million doses of Mosquirix have been administered to infants in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi since 2019. Results show that it led to a 30% reduction in severe malaria, and did not negatively impact other routine vaccines.

Dr Ghebreyesus said: “This long-awaited malaria vaccine is a breakthrough for science. This is a vaccine developed in Africa by African scientists and we’re very proud.”

He added: “Using this vaccine in addition to existing tools [such as insecticides and bed-nets] to prevent malaria could save tens of thousands of young lives each year.”