WHO approves new malaria vaccine

11:20, 07 October 2021
WHO approves new malaria vaccine

The World Health Organization has approved the world's first malaria vaccine and recommended its use across the world, the Head of WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reported.

"This is a historic moment. The long-awaited malaria vaccine for children is a breakthrough for science, child health, and malaria control. Using this vaccine on top of existing tools to prevent malaria could save tens of thousands of young lives each year," Ghebreyesus added.

The WHO experts say that the new vaccine will help save the lives of millions of African children annually.

Malaria is carried by mosquitoes so the primary interventions of the disease spreading are mosquitos nets and spraying of insecticide. However, it can't be fully saved from mosquito bites.

The widespread African malaria claimed the lives of 260,000 children under the age of five last year. The new vaccine aimed to halt malaria parasite multiplication and normalize the bloodstream to avoid disease symptoms.      

The recent vaccine trials showed 39% protection against malaria in newborn children between the ages of five and 17 months. 

In late September a new persistent form of malaria was discovered in Uganda which is able to resist a wide range of various medications. It turned out that 20% of all existing medications were ineffective against it.  

Previously, another medication breakthrough was reported in the US. On October 1, an American pharmaceutical company Merck reported that its new anti-COVID-19 pill can cut the risk of death and hospitalization by half. The company is planning to seek authorization for the pill around the world.