According to British news agency Reuters, African nations are readying to approve a new vaccine for malaria and buy 20 million doses of it this year.
Nigeria’s pharmaceutical regulator followed Ghana’s this week, making the two countries the first in the world to support the R21 vaccine, which was created by Oxford University researchers and produced by the Serum Institute of India and Novavax.
Since it was done without the World Health Organization’s consent, the action was rare. Historically, African nations have used the UN agency to conduct early reviews of new medications as these nations have no significant resources for drug control. There are currently no publicly accessible details on the malaria vaccine from large-scale trials, and it is unclear how these economically backward countries will pay for the doses.
However, new initiatives to improve drug oversight in the region and the pressing need of treating a disease that kills more than 600,000 people yearly in Africa south of the Sahara, most of them children under the age of 5, are altering the process.
The WHO stated at a high-level meeting this week that regulatory authorities from at least 10 additional African nations are examining trial data to evaluate the shot, and more of them are anticipated to approve it in the upcoming weeks.
The leader of the WHO’s malaria vaccine implementation programme, Mary Hamel, said at the expert gathering on Tuesday, “We expect many more countries to come through.” They are sovereign nations with the authority to choose their own vaccination policies.
Although Tanzania and Kenya have robust regulatory structures and some of the highest rates of the disease, she could not specify which nations might be the next.