WHO to Provide 18 Million Malaria Vaccines to 12 African Nations

© AP Photo / Mary AltafferA physician assistant prepares a syringe with the Mpox vaccine for a patient at a vaccination clinic in New York on Friday, Aug. 19, 2022.
A physician assistant prepares a syringe with the Mpox vaccine for a patient at a vaccination clinic in New York on Friday, Aug. 19, 2022. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 06.07.2023
Most recent WHO statistics show that malaria, a disease spread to humans by the bites of certain mosquito species, claimed 619,000 lives globally in 2021.
Twelve African nations are due to get over 18 million doses of the first malaria vaccine by 2025, according to statements made on Wednesday by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the GAVI (Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance).
"Malaria remains one of Africa's deadliest diseases, killing nearly half a million children under the age of five every year," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated.
According to estimations, in 2021, Africa accounted for 96% of all malaria-related fatalities worldwide.
Ghebreyesus stressed that the use of the world's first anti-malaria vaccine, known as Mosquirix or RTS,S, is safe and effective.

"It has been shown to be safe and effective, resulting in a substantial reduction in severe malaria and a fall in child deaths," he said.

Almost 30 African nations have expressed a desire to receive dosages. According to a joint statement from WHO, UNICEF, and the Vaccine Alliance, nine additional nations will get supplies in addition to Ghana, Kenya and Malawi, three test countries, which will continue to receive doses.
These nations include Liberia, Niger, Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Benin, and Uganda.
The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) hands over sequencing equipment to Dr Manaouda Malachie, Minister of Health of the Republic of Cameroon, on July 3, 2023.  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 04.07.2023
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The first vaccinations should arrive in the last quarter of 2023 and be administered in the first few months of 2024.
The WHO chief stated that a second malaria vaccine, the R21/Matrix-M created by Oxford University and made by the Serum Institute of India (SII), was "under review for pre-qualification" approved by the WHO, a method intended to ensure that medical supplies going to low-income nations are safe and effective.
Kate O'Brien, director of the WHO's immunization and vaccines division, outlined the importance of the vaccines.

"It's really important to remember nearly every minute a child dies of malaria... [vaccines are] an additional tool in the toolbox to fight against the severe disease, the deaths that occur," O'Brien stated. "[It] is a really essential step forward." The vaccine "is a step absolutely in the right direction, and it's the preview of many more millions of doses that will go out."

The WHO, UNICEF, and Gavi predict that by 2026, there would be an annual need for 40–60 million doses of the malaria vaccine, rising to 80–100 million doses by 2030.