In a significant announcement from today, the World Health Organization recommended the use of the first malaria vaccine. RTS, S, also known as Mosquirix. In particular, the WHO says it should be deployed for children in sub-Saharan Africa and other areas with moderate to high malaria transmission. The announcement follows the rates of great vaccine progress around the COVID-19 pandemic. To be clear, RTS, S is not an mRNA vaccine, which has the potential to have an even greater impact on malaria and other diseases that have plagued humans for years.
“This is a historic moment. The long-awaited malaria vaccine for children is a breakthrough in science, children’s health and malaria control, ”said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a statement. “Using this vaccine on top of existing malaria prevention tools could save tens of thousands of young lives each year.”
RTS, S has an efficiency rate in preventing 39 percent of malaria cases and 29 percent of severe cases, based on studies in Africa that included young children. This may seem particularly low, but in combination with other malaria remedies, such as mesh beds with insecticides, the WHO says the vaccine could potentially save tens of thousands of lives a year. The organization estimates that more than 260,000 African children die of malaria each year.
Most importantly, the WHO also says that the RTS, S can be easily set up, is safe to use and is cost-effective to deploy. According to The Guardian, the company behind the vaccine, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), says it will deliver up to 15 million doses a year, no more than 5 percent of production costs. The WHO and GSK are seeking additional sources of funding from partners and governments.
RTS, S is still just the beginning. Thanks to mRNA-based technology, which can teach our bodies how to react to certain diseases, the R21 vaccine from Oxford University is up to 77 percent effective in preventing malaria. And based on previous tests, it turned out to be safe.
“For centuries, malaria has haunted sub-Saharan Africa, causing enormous personal suffering,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa. malaria and grow into healthy adults. ”
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