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Published On: Wed, Dec 27th, 2023

WHO Recommends New Vaccine for Malaria Prevention

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended the R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine to its list of prequalified vaccines for the prevention of malaria in children following the advice of the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization and the Malaria Policy Advisory Group.

The prequalification means larger access to vaccines as a key tool to prevent malaria in children with it being a prerequisite for vaccine procurement by UNICEF and funding support for deployment by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

This vaccine is the second malaria vaccine recommended by the World Health Organization following the RTS, S/AS01 vaccine, which received WHO’s recommendation in 2021. Both vaccines are shown to be safe and effective in preventing malaria in children when implemented broadly, it is expected to have high public health impact.

The World Health Organization said that the year 2023 has witnessed significant strides in the fight against malaria and Alzheimer’s disease, marking a continued commitment to health and scientific progress despite the presumed end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In recent development, twelve countries across various regions of Africa are set to receive a total of 18 million doses of the world’s very first antimalarial vaccine over the next two years. This deployment will mark a pivotal step in addressing one of the leading causes of mortality in the continent.

The Countries participating in the Antimalarial Vaccination Implementation Program, including Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi, will benefit from these doses to continue vaccination efforts in pilot regions. The initiative represents a collaborative effort to bring about positive health outcomes and combat the pervasive impact of malaria in affected regions.

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