The international vaccination alliance GAVI announced on Wednesday that during the following two years, 12 nations in Africa would get 18 million doses of the malaria vaccine.
One of the deadliest diseases on the continent, malaria still claims the lives of about 500,000 children under the age of five every year. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 96% of malaria deaths and 95% of infections worldwide occurred in Africa in 2021.
At a media briefing, WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that “at least 28 African countries have expressed interest in receiving the RTS,S (malaria) vaccine,” and added that another malaria vaccine was being examined for pre-qualification and, if effective, could provide additional supply in the near future.
According to a joint release from GAVI, UNICEF, and the WHO, more than 1.7 million children in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi have received the RTS,S vaccination as part of a trial project financed by GAVI since 2019.
Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Niger, Sierra Leone, and Uganda are the nine additional nations scheduled to receive the vaccine, which was created by British pharmaceutical company Glaxosmithkline (GSK).
The first doses of the RTS,S vaccine should arrive in the 12 African nations during the final quarter of 2023, enabling them to begin distribution at the beginning of the following year.