World Health Organization Approves World’s First Malaria Vaccine

0

The World Health Organization (WHO) has approved the world’s first malaria vaccine, which could save hundreds of thousands of lives each year.

On Wednesday, the agency praised the widespread use of the RTS, S malaria vaccine – developed by British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) – for children in sub-Saharan Africa and other regions with moderate to high malaria transmission. .

The jab has already been administered to more than 800,000 children in an ongoing pilot program in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi.

WHO said the data shows the vaccine to be safe and effective and can be distributed in rural parts of the continent.

With more than 400,000 deaths worldwide each year, including more than 260,000 African children, experts believe the vaccine could significantly reduce the number of annual deaths over the next few years.

SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO

WHO has recommended the use of the world’s first-ever malaria vaccine in sub-Saharan Africa and other regions with moderate to high levels of transmission. Pictured: WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announces the news at a press conference on Wednesday

The RTS, S vaccine (above), developed by GlaxoSmithKline, requires four doses to be given to children aged five months and older and can reduce hospitalizations and deaths by 70%.

The RTS, S vaccine (above), developed by GlaxoSmithKline, requires four doses to be given to children aged five months and older and can reduce hospitalizations and deaths by 70%.

“This is a historic moment,” WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference on Wednesday.

“The long-awaited malaria vaccine for children is a breakthrough in science, child health and the fight against malaria.

“Using this vaccine in addition to existing tools to prevent malaria could save tens of thousands of young lives every year.”

Malaria is a serious disease often caused by a parasite that commonly infects Anopheles mosquitoes, which in turn transmit the disease to humans.

It can also be transmitted – although less frequently – through blood transfusion, organ transplantation, or needle sharing.

People often develop a flu-like illness, including fever, headache, chills, muscle pain, nausea, and vomiting.

Around 400,000 people die from malaria worldwide each year, with children under five being particularly susceptible. The disease takes the life of a child every two minutes.

Fifteen countries – all but one in sub-Saharan Africa – bear 80 percent of the global malaria burden.

It has been estimated that the vaccine, which has been in the works for three decades, could save “millions” of lives.

The jab requires four doses to be given to children five months of age and older.

The jab has already been administered to more than 800,000 children in an ongoing pilot program in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi.

The jab has already been administered to more than 800,000 children in an ongoing pilot program in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi.

Around 400,000 people die from malaria worldwide each year, including 260,000 African children (file image)

Around 400,000 people die of malaria worldwide each year, including 260,000 African children (file image)

HOW MANY PEOPLE DIE FROM MALARIA?

Malaria continues to kill many people.

There were 229 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2019, up from 228 million in 2018.

In 2017, 409,000 people died of malaria worldwide, compared to an estimated 411,000 deaths in 2018.

Children under five are particularly susceptible to malaria. The disease takes the life of a child every two minutes.

Fifteen countries – all but one in sub-Saharan Africa – bear 80% of the global malaria burden.

Source: World Health Organization

The WHO said the jab provides a 30 percent reduction in fatal severe malaria.

GSK said that when the vaccine is given in combination with the seasonal administration of antimalarial drugs, the vaccine “reduces clinical malaria episodes, severe malaria hospitalizations and deaths by about 70 percent.”

“This long-awaited historic decision may re-energize the fight against malaria in the region at a time when progress in the fight against malaria has stalled,” Thomas Breuer, head of global health at GSK, said in a statement. .

“Real evidence and clinical trial data show that RTS, S, along with other malaria prevention measures, has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives.”

Gavi, the international vaccine alliance, said the pilots have shown that the vaccine can be successfully integrated into existing immunization programs.

“We have long hoped for an effective vaccine against malaria and now, for the first time, we have such a vaccine recommended for widespread use,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, during of the press conference.

“Today’s recommendation offers a beacon of hope for the continent that bears the heaviest burden of disease and we expect many more African children to be protected from malaria and grow into healthy adults. . ”

GSK said it was “working with partners to develop solutions to ensure equitable and long-term access to the RTS, S vaccine for people who need it.”

The company donated 10 million doses for the pilot project, which began in 2019 to test the feasibility of deployment, and has also pledged to deliver up to 15 million doses per year at a maximum of 5% above the cost of production.


Source link

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.