Malaria Vaccinations Expand Across Africa
The World Health Organization (WHO), GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, and UNICEF jointly announce today the existing Malaria Vaccine Implementation Program will expand over the next two years to reach twelve African countries.
In addition to Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi, the initial 18 million malaria vaccine allocation will enable nine more countries, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Niger, Sierra Leone, and Uganda, to introduce the vaccine into their routine immunization programs for the first time.
The first RTS,S/AS01 (Mosquirix™) vaccine doses are expected to arrive in countries during the last quarter of 2023, with countries starting to roll them out by early 2024.
Announced on July 5, 2023, the WHO says this rollout is a critical step forward in the fight against one of the leading causes of death on the continent.
Malaria remains one of Africa's deadliest diseases, killing nearly half a million children under age five and accounting for approximately 95% of global malaria cases and 96% of deaths in 2021.
"The malaria vaccine is a breakthrough to improve child health and survival, and families and communities rightly want it for their children. This first allocation of malaria vaccine doses is prioritized for children at highest risk of dying of malaria," said Dr. Kate O'Brien, WHO Director of Immunization, Vaccines, and Biologicals, in a media release on July 5, 2023.
"The high demand for the vaccine and the strong reach of childhood immunization will increase equity in access to malaria prevention and save many young lives."
"We will work tirelessly to increase supply until all at-risk children have access."
The annual global demand for malaria vaccines is estimated at 40–60 million doses by 2026 alone, increasing to 80–100 million doses each year by 2030.
Other malaria vaccination news is posted at Vax-Before-Travel.