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WHO moves to roll out first malaria vaccine in Africa

Published: 28th Jul, 2022

Context

The World Health Organization has announced the launch of the world's first approved malaria vaccine across 3 African nations.

About

About the Vaccine

  • The WHO recommendation is for RTS, S - or Mosquirix- a vaccine developed by British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline.
  • Mosquirix's active component consists of proteins discovered on the outer layer of Plasmodium falciparum parasites (PFP).
  • RTS, S aims to start the immune system in the early stages of malaria when PFP enters the bloodstream through a mosquito bite and infects liver cells.
  • The RTS malaria vaccine, S/AS01, is used to protect children from falciparum malaria in locations with medium to high transmission.
    • The most frequent kind of malaria in Africa is Falciparum.
  • It is the very first and only vaccination that provides partial defense against young children.
  • To lower the incidence and impact of malaria, children should be given the malaria vaccine in a four-dose schedule, beginning at age five months.
  • The vaccine adds to the development of the malaria tool and can help get malaria control back on track.
  • It also helps to keep the Hepatitis B virus from infecting the liver.

Malaria

  • Malaria is a potentially fatal disease caused by parasites that are transferred to humans by a sting of female Anopheles mosquitos.
  • It is preventable and curable.
  • Over the past 2 decades, 11 nations have become WHO-certified as malaria-free:
    • United Arab Emirates (2007)
    • Morocco (2010)
    • Turkmenistan (2010)
    • Armenia (2011)
    • Sri Lanka (2016)
    • Kyrgyzstan (2016)
    • Paraguay (2018)
    • Uzbekistan (2018)
    • Algeria (2019)
    • Argentina (2019)
    • El Salvador (2021)

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