As per announcement of Regional office for Africa of World Health Organisation (WHO/AFRO) on Monday, World’s first malaria vaccine will come to real life trials from 2018, the said vaccine will be for babies and children in high risk areas. Ghana, Kenya and Malawi will be the first to experience the injectable vaccine under WHO-coordinated pilot implementation programme
Africa bears the greatest burden of malaria worldwide. Global efforts in the last 15 years have led to a 62 percent reduction in malaria deaths between 2000 and 2015, yet approximately 429,000 people died of the disease in 2015, the majority of them young children in Africa.
The vaccine called RTS,S or Mosquirix developed to protect young children from the most deadly form of malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum and will enhance core package of WHO-recommended measures for malaria prevention. The WHO pilot program will assess whether the Mosquirix’s protective effect in children aged 5 to 17 months can be replicated in real-life.
It will also assess the feasibility of delivering the four doses needed, and explore the vaccine’s potential role in reducing the number of children killed by the disease.
RTS,S was developed by GSK in partnership with the non-profit PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative and part-funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
RTS,S is also the first malaria vaccine to have obtained a positive scientific opinion from a stringent medicines regulatory authority, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which approved RTS,S in July 2015.
The malaria vaccine will be administered via intramuscular injection and delivered through the routine national immunization programmes. WHO is working with the three countries to facilitate regulatory authorization of the vaccine for use in the pilots through the African Vaccine Regulatory Forum (AVAREF). Regulatory support will also include measures to enable the appropriate safety monitoring of the vaccine and rigorous evaluation for eventual large scale use.
Few Facts about Malaria:
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease affecting humans and other animals caused by parasitic protozoans (a group of single-celled microorganisms) belonging to the Plasmodium type
Malaria causes symptoms that typically include fever, feeling tired, vomiting, and headaches. In severe cases it can cause yellow skin, seizures, coma, or death
The disease is most commonly transmitted by an infected female Anopheles mosquito. The mosquito bite introduces the parasites from the mosquito’s saliva into a person’s blood
Malaria is typically diagnosed by the microscopic examination of blood using blood films, or with antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests
Many of these drugs are also used in treatment. Chloroquine may be used where chloroquine-resistant parasites are not common
In places where Plasmodium is resistant to one or more medications, three medications—mefloquine (Lariam), doxycycline (available generically), or the combination of atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride (Malarone)—are frequently used when prophylaxis is needed