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WHO approves malaria vaccine for children: ‘historic event’

The vaccine, called RTS, S or Mosquirix, has been shown to have an effect against malaria already six years ago, according to the BBC. It is estimated that the vaccine prevents 30 percent of serious cases, according to Sky News.

Successful pilot project

After a successful pilot project in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi, WHO has now decided to launch a vaccination program across sub-Saharan Africa and in other regions with medium to high prevalence of malaria.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the decision as a “historic event”.

The long-awaited pediatric vaccine is a scientific and health advance for children and the fight against malaria. It could save the lives of tens of thousands of young people every year, he tells the BBC.

Open for financing

WHO approval of the immunization program opens up broader funding for vaccines for African countries, Sky News writes. Among other things, the public-private vaccination alliance GAVI is expected to fund millions of doses after approval by the World Health Organization.

Malaria infects 230 million people annually and causes about 400,000 deaths annually. The vast majority, about 95 percent of cases, occur in Africa. In 2019, for example, more than 260 thousand children died as a result of this disease.

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