The World Health Organization (WHO) has approved the broad distribution of the first malaria vaccine, with scientists hope that it would save the lives of thousands of African children each year.
In a tweet, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced this milestone as a landmark. and recommended the malaria vaccine. “I started my career as a malaria researcher, and I longed for the day that we would have an effective vaccine against this ancient and terrible disease. Today is that day: WHO is recommending the broad use of the world’s first malaria vaccine,” Tedros tweeted.
The WHO recommends RTS,S – or Mosquirix – a vaccine produced by the British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.
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WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus hailed it as “an historic day,” saying that following a successful trial programme in three African nations, the RTS,S vaccine should be made more widely available.
Mosquirix is a malaria vaccine that can be given to children aged 6 weeks to 17 months, according to the European Medicines Agency.
Ghebreyesus further stated, “This is a vaccine developed in Africa by African scientists and we’re very proud.”
It also helps protect against hepatitis B virus infection of the liver, although the European Medicines Agency advises that the vaccination should not be taken only for this purpose.
GlaxoSmithKline developed the vaccine in 1987. It does, however, have drawbacks: Mosquirix takes up to four doses, and its protection wears out after a few months.
Scientists are optimistic that the vaccine will have a significant impact on malaria in Africa.
The vaccination protects against plasmodium falciparum, the most lethal of the five parasite types. Malaria symptoms include fever, headaches, and muscular discomfort, followed by cycles of chills, fever, and sweating.