Malaria Vaccine That Took 30 Years to Develop to be Available in Three African Countries

Malaria Vaccine That Took 30 Years to Develop to be Available in Three African Countries

Malaria Vaccine That Took 30 Years to Develop to be Available in Three African Countries

A malaria vaccine that took more than 30 years to be developed and almost USD 1 billion in investment will now be available in three African countries — Malawi, Ghana and Kenya, as part of children’s routine immunisation schedules.

There has been an estimated 219 million cases and 435,000 deaths across 87 countries, with more than 90% of these in Africa, Forbes reported.

The vaccine, known as RTS,S that was developed by GlaxoSmithKlein with the non-profit organization PATH over a 30-year period with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a network of African research centers, is the world’s first malaria vaccine showing promise in protection against malaria in young children.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the vaccine prevented approximately 39 percent cases of malaria over 4 years and 29 percent cases of severe malaria among children aged 5–17 months who received 4 doses of RTS,S.

“While the new vaccine will reduce mortality in children in high-risk malaria areas, there are limitations because of issues and difficulties in maintaining durable protection after a child has been vaccinated,” Dr Dave Knight, an Occupational Health and Public Health physician at International SOS, told Forbes.

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