The World Health Organization (WHO) has approved a vaccine against malaria for the first time.
In the written statement from WHO, the pilot application process and effectiveness of the newly developed malaria vaccine were mentioned. As part of the pilot application, the vaccine has been tested in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi since 2019.
In the statement, WHO Secretary General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “This is a historic moment. The long-awaited malaria vaccine is a breakthrough in science, children’s health and malaria control.”
It was also stated in the statement that the distribution and transportation of the RTS,S/AS01 vaccine is easy, more than 2.3 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in 3 African countries so far, and this vaccine is cost-effective.
The pilot application of the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine, whose phase 3 study was concluded in 2017, started in Malawi in 2019. After WHO‘s approval, the Global Vaccines and Vaccination Alliance (GAVI) is expected to approve the use of the vaccine and to procure doses and distribute them to countries.
Malaria, which is transmitted by the bites of parasitic mosquitoes and occurs after an average incubation period of 7 days, manifests itself with flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, sweating, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, and weakness.
Malaria, which is one of the deadliest diseases and causes the death of a child every 2 minutes, is mostly seen in Africa. While an average of 500,000 people die each year across the continent due to this sickness, half of the deaths are children.