The use of a malaria vaccine has been approved in Ghana
According to a statement by the university, the malaria vaccine has been given the go-ahead for use in children aged 5-36 months, the age group with the highest risk of death from malaria. Hopefully, this will be a crucial first step in effectively combating malaria in Ghanaian and African children as reported by Jacarandafm.
Professor Adrian Hill, director of the university’s Jenner Institute and chief investigator of the R21/Matrix-M vaccine program, stated that this marks the end of 30 years of malaria vaccine research at Oxford, resulting in the provision of a high-efficacy vaccine that can be supplied at an adequate scale to the countries in greatest need.
The vaccine is 77% effective at preventing malaria in research published last year, surpassing the WHO’s roadmap goal of 75%.
It could represent a turning point in the fight against the mosquito-borne parasitic disease that claimed the lives of 627,000 people, primarily African children, in 2020 alone.
While another vaccine produced by GSK has been recommended for widespread use against malaria by the WHO, research has found its effectiveness to be around 60% and to wane over time, even with a booster dose significantly.
Photo by Jimmy Chan