"Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi show that existing childhood vaccination platforms can effectively deliver the malaria vaccine to children, some of whom have not been able to access insecticide-treated bed net or other malaria prevention measures," said Kate O'Brien, the director of the WHO Department of Immunization, Vaccines, and Biologicals.
"This vaccine may be key to making malaria prevention more equitable and saving more lives," she added.
Over 1.7 million doses of the world's first malaria vaccine candidate called RTS,S have been administered in these three countries during the pilot phase that was launched in 2019.
"In some ways, malaria is the child health emergency of lifetime-or many lifetimes- in Africa," said Akpaka Kalu, team leader for tropical and vector-borne diseases in the WHO African region.
"We applaud the work of participating countries that has resulted in malaria vaccine pilots with strong vaccination coverage that will add to our understanding of the RTS,S vaccine's potential to improve child health and strengthen malaria control and, potentially reverse trends," Kalu added.
According to WHO, data generated from the implementation of the pilot phase of malaria vaccination in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi will inform its broader use.