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Africa's First Children's Malaria Vaccine Lauanches

October 12, 2022 • 2:50 pm CDT
(Vax Before Travel)

The Republic of Malawi's health ministry recently announced it would roll out in November 2022, Africa's first malaria vaccine for children under age five.

The novel Mosquirix RTSS/AS0 took more than 30 years to develop and has been tested in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi reported VOA on October 10, 2022.

The WHO awarded prequalification to Mosquirix on September 6, 2022.

Its availability has raised hopes of saving some of the more than 400,000 people who die annually from the mosquito-borne disease, most of them African children.

Malaria is the number one deadly disease in Malawi, accounting for 36% of all hospital outpatients and 15% of hospital admissions.

Despite its relatively low effectiveness rate, some scientists say the vaccine will significantly impact malaria in Africa.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes, says the U.S. CDC.

Symptoms include fever, headache, and chills that usually appear 10–15 days after a bite and may be mild and difficult to recognize as malaria.

Left untreated, P. falciparum malaria can progress to severe illness and death within 24 hours. 

On March 4, 2022, the WHO published an updated position paper on the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine that includes its October 2021 recommendation calling for the broader use of the vaccine among children living in areas of moderate-to-high P. falciparum malaria transmission.

The paper complements the recent addition of advice to the WHO Guidelines for malaria.

This malaria vaccine is not available in the U.S.

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