- On Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) authorized a second malaria vaccine to help control the spread of the life-threatening parasitic disease that reportedly kills around 500K children in Africa annually.1
- According to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the approval was granted following advice from two expert groups that endorsed its use in reducing the risk of the disease in children.2
- The R21/Matrix-M authorization comes after the WHO approved the RTS,S/AS01 vaccine to help contain malaria in 2021.1
- The latest vaccine, which is manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and expected to cost between $2 and $4 a dose, will be first available in Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Nigeria by early next year before being made accessible in other countries by mid-2024.3
- The Oxford University-developed three-dose vaccine is thought to be more than 75% effective, with protection expected to last for at least another year with an additional booster shot. The previously four-dose malaria vaccine is about 30% effective, and protection fades within months.2
- Malaria is a mosquito-borne illness that mostly impacts pregnant women and children under the age of five.4
- Narrative A, as provided by Guardian. This cheaper and more effective malaria vaccine is pushing the world one step closer to a malaria-free future. Many more children will be protected from this life-threatening disease due to this vaccine. This could be a massive breakthrough in providing relief across malaria hot spots.
- Narrative B, as provided by Global news. While this new vaccine is promising, it doesn't prevent transmission of the disease, so it will not be able to stop epidemics. Stopping the spread of malaria is going to require much more than vaccines alone, especially with the spread of invasive mosquito species and the increase in resistance to malaria treatment drugs.