The world’s first significant malaria vaccination program for children has started in Cameroon.
In the country of Central Africa, the campaign got underway on Monday. An important step has been taken in the fight against the illness throughout Africa, according to health officials. Roughly 95% of malaria deaths worldwide occur on the continent.
According to estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO), the disease, which is carried by mosquitoes, kills over 600,000 people annually. Young children are mostly involved in these deaths.
The RTS.S vaccine was created by the British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). It is intended to combat the disease in conjunction with other preventive measures including the usage of bed nets.
Following successful experiments, or trials, in Ghana and Kenya, Cameroon is the first nation to provide vaccination injections as part of a regular program. About 250,000 youngsters should receive vaccinations in Cameroon this year and next.
According to the global vaccine partnership known as Gavi, 19 more nations plan to start their own programs this year. In those nations, vaccines against malaria will be administered to over 6.6 million children in 2024 and 2025.
Mohammed Abdulaziz remarked, “We have been waiting for a day like this for a long time.” He works for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Africa. At a combined news conference with the WHO, Gavi, and other organizations, Abdulaziz gave a speech.
Mosquirix, one of the two recently licensed malaria vaccines, is being used in Cameroon. Officials acknowledged the vaccine’s shortcomings when the WHO authorized it two years ago. However, they pointed out that using it could significantly lower hospital admissions and serious infections.
The efficacy of the GSK-produced injection is just approximately 30%. Four dosages, or shots, are needed. According to tests, the vaccine’s protection starts to wane after a few months. According to GSK, it can only make roughly 15 million doses of Mosquirix annually.