On Oct. 6, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) endorsed the first malaria vaccine for children, hailing it as a “historic event.” According to Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, the approval of the RTS, S/AS01 vaccine, known as Mosquirix, promises a “glimmer of optimism” for Africa. It will now be distributed to prevent youngsters from one of the world’s oldest and deadliest diseases.
What is Mosquirix?
The RTS, S malaria vaccine Mosquirix, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, has been approved by the WHO. It is the first malaria vaccine to be approved by the World Health Organization. It comes after an evaluation of two years of vaccine pilot research in three Sub-Saharan African countries with significant malaria burdens: Malawi, Kenya, and Ghana.
The vaccine is to be approved for use in children living in areas with a moderate to high malaria load.
Every year, malaria kills hundreds of thousands of children, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is the first time that researchers, vaccine manufacturers, policymakers, and advocates have collaborated to produce a vaccine. Moreover, one that has passed clinical testing and gotten not only regulatory approval but also a WHO recommendation.
Is this effective?
About 30% of severe malaria cases, which are more likely to result in death, can be prevented by this vaccination.
Although researchers know RTS, S was effective in well-controlled clinical studies, concerns were there about whether the four-dose vaccination could be properly used. It was mainly for a real-world context in Sub-Saharan African countries.
Read more about CBSE Exams 2022 here.
Now, Bharat Biotech will manufacture the vaccine, making India a part of this historic event. The WHO recommends four vaccine doses for children aged five months and up. It is based on data from pilots in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi that vaccinated over 800,000 children since 2019. Moreover, the majority of malaria deaths occur in Africa. Therefore, setting up production units in Africa would be a positive move for India/Bharat Biotech. Also, this will make vaccine distribution and access easier and more predictable.
Moreover, it will build diplomatic capital by demonstrating India’s commitment to cooperation and collaboration with developing countries. This will surely establish India as a global leader that is working in partnership with varied countries.
Have you visited our Instagram page yet,