For the first time, WHO recommends a malaria vaccine. Proven in the field, RTS, S / SA01 is intended for children in areas where the disease is actively circulating.

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It is a historic decision that was announced yesterday by Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO): the authorization of the first vaccine against malaria, aimed at children in sub-Saharan Africa and other areas where the disease is taking its toll. ” Using this vaccine alongside existing tools to prevent malaria could save tens of thousands of young lives every year », He declared in A press release.

A safe malaria vaccine proven in the field

The vaccine in question is called RTS, S / AS01, it is intended to fight against malaria caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum and transmitted by mosquitoes females of the genus Anopheles. Others cash from Plasmodium, like P. vivax, are responsible for malaria, but P. falciparum is the most widespread and the most virulent. The vaccine will be given to children living in areas where transmission of the disease is moderate or severe, at a dose of four doses from the age of 5 months.

This protocol is based on data from vaccination campaigns carried out over the past two years in three pilot countries: Ghana, Kenya and Malawi. A total of 2.3 million doses were injected in these three countries. The RTS, S / AS01 vaccine is considered safe, but its effectiveness is moderate. It can prevent 30% of severe and fatal forms of malaria in children, in combination with the use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets and access to care services.

Earlier this year, scientists from Oxford showed another vaccine that was 75% effective. For the moment, it has only been tested on a hundred children in Burkina Faso, but clinical tests larger scale are planned. It could become a tool in the fight against malaria, alongside the RTS vaccine, S / AS01.

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