WHO recommends broad use of malaria vaccine

Geneva, Oct. 7, (Xinhua/GNA) - The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended the widespread use of the world's first malaria vaccine called RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S) for children in sub-Saharan Africa.







The WHO said the vaccine is the result of 30 years of research and development by British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in partnership with the international non-profit organization Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) and with a network of research centers in Africa.

The WHO said its recommendation is based on results from more than 2.3 million doses of the vaccine that have been administered to more than 800,000 children in pilot countries Ghana, Kenya and Malawi since 2019.

According to the WHO, more than two-thirds of children in the three countries who were not sleeping under a bednet were benefiting from the vaccine, bringing about a 30 percent drop in severe malaria, even when introduced in areas where insecticide-treated nets were widely used and there was good access to diagnosis and treatment.

The vaccine has a favorable safety profile, the WHO said, with no negative impact on the uptake of bednets, other childhood vaccinations, or health seeking behavior for febrile illness.

"It's safe, it significantly reduces life-threatening severe malaria, and we estimate it to be highly cost-effective," WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press briefing.

GNA