The World Health Organisation (WHO) has approved the malaria vaccine for children across the majority of Africa.
The WHO recommended the widespread use of the RTS,S malaria vaccine for children in Sub-Saharan Africa and other regions where the transmission rate for malaria is moderate to high.
With over 260,000 children dying from malaria each year, the decision has been described as changing “the course of public health history”.
The jab, which is feasible to deliver, has a strong safety profile and could save tens of thousands of lives each year, according to the WHO.
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated, “This is a historic moment. The long-awaited malaria vaccine for children is a breakthrough for science, child health and malaria control.”
WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti stated, “Today’s recommendation offers a glimmer of hope for the continent which shoulders the heaviest burden of the disease and we expect many more African children to be protected from malaria and grow into healthy adults.”
The vaccine, which the WHO said provides a 30% reduction in severe malaria, requires four doses to be given to children aged five months and older.
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