WHO backs malaria vaccine rollout for Africa's children in major breakthrough
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday the only approved vaccine against malaria should be widely given to African children, potentially marking a major advance against a disease that kills hundreds of thousands of people annually, Trend reports citing Reuters.
The WHO recommendation is for RTS,S - or Mosquirix - a vaccine developed by British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline.
Since 2019, 2.3 million doses of Mosquirix have been administered to infants in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi in a large-scale pilot programme coordinated by the WHO. The majority of those whom the disease kills are aged under five.
That programme followed a decade of clinical trials in seven African countries.
"This is a vaccine developed in Africa by African scientists and we're very proud," said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
"Using this vaccine in addition to existing tools to prevent malaria could save tens of thousands of young lives each year," he added, referring to anti-malaria measures like bed nets and spraying.