WHO recommendation for world’s first malaria vaccine excites Gavi, others – GCFRNG
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the global health agency Unitaid and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, on Wednesday welcomed the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) for a wider routine use of the RTS malaria vaccine, S.
The recommendation was based on data collected through the Malaria Vaccine Implementation Program (MVIP) in Kenya, Ghana, and Malawi over a two-year period.
By September 2021, more than two years after the start of vaccinations, more than 2.3 million doses of RTS, S had been administered in the three countries and more than 800,000 children had been reached with at least one dose of the vaccine, said the UN correspondent for the Nigerian News Agency (NAN) Reports.
RTS, S pilots achieved and maintained good coverage levels, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pilots provided the opportunity to evaluate the feasibility of administering four doses of RTS, S in real-life settings, where the vaccine was successfully incorporated into existing immunization programs.
Both caregivers and health workers widely agreed to reduce hospitalizations for severe malaria by 30%.
Another clinical trial led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine evaluated the impact of seasonal malaria vaccine delivery, along with chemoprevention of seasonal malaria in Mali and Burkina Faso, countries that experienced high seasonal variation of malaria transmission.
The findings indicated a decrease of more than 70 percent in severe cases of malaria in children when the vaccine was given in combination with preventive antimalarials.
“Today marks a historic achievement in our fight against malaria,” said Dr. Seth Berkley, executive director of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, in a statement.
“Malaria still kills more than 250,000 children each year.
“The vaccine is an important additional tool to help control this disease in conjunction with other interventions, such as bed nets, and especially when administered seasonally in combination with antimalarial drugs.
“I applaud the countries and communities that participated in the trials and pilots for providing this critical new tool for African countries.”
Health ministries led the implementation of the vaccine, which was delivered through routine immunization programs, with WHO playing a coordinating role, working in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline, PATH and UNICEF.
Following its investment of around $ 700 million in the development of RTS, S, GSK has donated up to 10 million doses for the pilot program. Gavi, the Global Fund and Unitaid have together committed nearly $ 70 million to fund the pilot.
It was designed to address several outstanding issues related to the use of the vaccine in public health after the phase three trial showing the efficacy of RTS, S.
“We welcome this new tool in the fight against malaria,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund.
“In the countries in which the Global Fund invests, we have reduced malaria deaths by 45% since 2002 with testing, treatment and prevention tools such as bed nets.
“In vaccine pilot tests, the RTS, S vaccine was most effective when used in conjunction with these existing tools.”
Dr Philippe Duneton, Executive Director of Unitaid, said that, however, significant additional resources would be needed to enable a wide deployment of the vaccine alongside other innovations, and as part of a sustained and comprehensive response in the countries most likely to deliver it. they need. “
“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, progress against malaria was stalling.
“This vaccine is a welcome new tool that, when used in combination with existing interventions like bednets, has the potential to reduce malaria and extend protection to children in Africa.
“The pilot implementation has shown how we can equitably reach children with this life-saving vaccine; we must now ensure an adequate and affordable supply to truly reignite the fight against malaria, ”Duneton said.