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Ground Breaking News for Malaria

Est. Reading: 2 minutes
October 22, 2021

On October 6, 2021, BBC News released official confirmation that the piloted malaria vaccinations officially rollout across Sub-African nations and areas with high to moderate malaria transmission.

Malaria is a parasite that invades and destroys our blood cells in order to reproduce, and it's spread by the bite of blood-sucking mosquitoes, mostly effecting and killing infants and babies; this vaccine means that more than 260, 000 children per year can be saved.

Having a vaccine - after more than a century of trying - is among medicine's greatest achievements.

The vaccine - called RTS,S - was proven effective six years ago. It takes years of being repeatedly infected to build up immunity and even this only reduces the chances of becoming severely ill.

The findings of the pilots were discussed by two expert advisory groups at the WHO on Wednesday.

The results, from more than 2.3 million doses, showed:

  • the vaccine was safe and still led to a 30% reduction in severe malaria
  • it reached more than two-thirds of children who don't have a bed-net to sleep under
  • there was no negative impact on other routine vaccines or other measures to prevent malaria
  • the vaccine was cost-effective

"From a scientific perspective, this is a massive breakthrough, from a public health perspective this is a historical feat," said Dr Pedro Alonso, the director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme.

"We've been looking for a malaria vaccine for over 100 years now, it will save lives and prevent disease in African children."

The pilot programme will continue in the 3 pilot countries, Ghana, Kenya and Malawi, to understand the added value of the 4th vaccine dose, and to measure longer-term impact on child deaths.


BBC News - https://www.bbc.com/news/health-58810551

WHO - https://www.who.int/images/default-source/imported/immunization/malariavaccineinfo.png?sfvrsn=387df022_1

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