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News > World

WHO: Over 1 Million African Children Vaccinated Against Malaria

  • The WHO said that more than one million children have been immunized against malaria. Apr. 21, 2022.

    The WHO said that more than one million children have been immunized against malaria. Apr. 21, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/@reliefweb

Published 21 April 2022

The WHO reported more than one million children were vaccinated for the first shot against malaria in Africa.

In light of the World Malaria Day approaches, the WHO said that more than one million children had received the world’s first vaccine against malaria due to a pilot program in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi.

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The Government of Malawi implemented the malaria vaccine pilots program under WHO's coordination in April 2019. The reports dropped from the pilots' program studies indicated that the RTS, S/AS01 (RTS, S) vaccine is safe and feasible to deliver and substantially reduces deadly severe malaria.

These findings allowed the WHO to recommend last October 2021 to expand the use of RTS, S for children living in settings with moderate to high malaria transmission. It is estimated that with the widely deployed vaccine, about 40 000 to 80 000 African children's lives would be saved each year.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has secured more than $155 million intended to support the introduction, procurement, and delivery of the malaria vaccine for sub-Saharan Africa Gavi-elected countries. As a tool to be used to reduce child illness and deaths from malaria the WHO has enabled guidance to countries as they consider whether and how to adopt RTS, S.

WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “As a malaria researcher in my early career, I dreamed of the day we would have an effective vaccine against this devastating disease.”

“This vaccine is not just a scientific breakthrough; it’s life-changing for families across Africa. It demonstrates the power of science and innovation for health. Even so, there is an urgent need to develop more and better tools to save lives and drive progress towards a malaria-free world,” he added.

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