Global

World’s first Malaria vaccine approved

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has approved the use of the world’s first malaria vaccine, with 800,000 children having already received one dose.

Four doses are necessary to be effective, as children are considered most at risk due to lower levels of immunity to the virus, the doses are given one month apart at the age of 5, 6 and 7 months. With a final booster administered at 18 months.

Annually, sub-Saharan Africa has seen more than 260,000 children under the age of 5 die from malaria. As such, the vaccine is projected to save thousands of lives, preventing 40% of cases.

Health authorities have stressed that the vaccine does not work alone, but using other preventative measures such as treated bed nets and drugs that can target the malaria parasite can further reduce fatal cases.

The vaccine was developed by pharmaceutical giant, GSK, who have pledged to supply the doses at the manufacturing cost, plus 5%. No exact price has been specified yet.

Currently, in Kenya, most of the funding for vaccinations comes from donors such as the global vaccine alliance Gavi and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


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26/10/2021

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Una Jones



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