The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended the use of the malaria vaccine RTS, S / AS01 (RTS, S) in children in Sub-Saharan Africa and other regions.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General, described the approval of the long-awaited children’s malaria vaccine as a breakthrough for science.
1. RTS, S / AS01 (RTS, S) is a vaccine that is effective against Plasmodium falciparum, the world’s deadliest and most common malaria parasite in Africa.
2. The malaria vaccine is recommended for children aged five months to about 18 months who live in regions with moderate to high transmission.
2. A 4-dose schedule is recommended, with the first 3 doses given approximately monthly and the fourth dose given a year later.
3. The vaccine prevented about 4 out of 10 (39%) malaria cases over a 4-year follow-up and about 3 out of 10 (29%) severe malaria cases.
4. According to the WHO, the side effects of the vaccine include pain and swelling at the injection site and fever. However, these side effects are similar to reactions seen with other vaccines given to children.
5. GSK led the development of the vaccine over a period of 30 years. GSK worked with PATH’s Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) to advance RTS, S.
A five-year phase 3 study of efficacy and safety was conducted between 2009 and 2014 through a partnership between GSK, MVI (with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), and a network of African research centers at 11 locations in 7 countries.
6. Vaccinations started in Malawi, Ghana, Kenya in 2019.
7. RTS, S is designed to prevent the parasite from infecting the liver. It aims to induce the immune system to defend itself against the early stages when the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum enters the bloodstream of the human host through a mosquito bite and infects liver cells.
COVID-19: India is considering exporting vaccines to Africa as the pandemic hits harder
Meanwhile, India said it was considering exporting COVID-19 vaccines to other countries with a strong focus on Africa as the continent continues with the harsh reality of the deadly pandemic.
The Asian country, which is the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines, stopped exporting vaccines to adults in April 2021 According to the government, giving Indians the opportunity to get vaccinated because the number of infections has exploded.
India is behind with 33,563,421 cases and 446,080 deaths (as of Thursday, September 23) United States in the protocol of the countries fighting against COVID-19.