Widespread use of the Mosquirix vaccine produced by pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline was recommended after the drug was seen to arouse a child's immune system to thwart malaria-causing parasite Plasmodium falciparum in clinical trials.
million doses of the RTS,S malaria
vaccine which was endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) for general
use last year will be available to high transmission countries by next year.
use of the Mosquirix vaccine produced by pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline was recommended after the drug was seen to arouse a child's
immune system to thwart malaria-causing parasite Plasmodium falciparum in
clinical trials. In this study, the
vaccine had an efficacy of about 50 per cent against severe malaria in the
first year but dropped close to zero by the fourth year.
drug was also tried out in Kenya, Malawi and Ghana, where it
was incorporated into routine immunization programs, a pilot that experts at
WHO based on to recommend its general use. More than two-thirds of children in the
three countries who were not sleeping under bed nets were found to be benefitting
from the RTS, S vaccine.
saw a 30 per cent reduction in malaria when the vaccine was introduced in areas
where insecticide-treated nets are widely used and there is good access to
diagnosis and treatment in the study.
vaccine should have been available to many countries by now, Dr Jimmy Opigo who heads the Malaria Control Programme in the Ministry of Health says its
production was affected by the urgent need for the COVID-19 vaccines which has for
the past year been the target by both donors and vaccine manufacturers.
However, as plans to dispatch the vaccine are drawn, Dr Opigo says that the most Uganda can get of that first batch is about a million
doses. Currently, he
says his division is in the planning phase where they are in discussions regarding
which areas will benefit first or what exactly the target age groups of children
will be since the plan is to integrate the vaccine into the routine immunization
schedule as it becomes available.
//Cue in; “The
Cue out…need to organize.”//
research, all previous malaria vaccine candidates never made it past clinical
trials, while Bed nets, the most widespread preventive measure, cut malaria
deaths in children under age 5 by only about 20 per cent. This implies that the
new vaccine, even with modest efficacy, is the best new development so far in
the fight against the disease in decades.
vaccine is given in three doses between ages 5 and 17 months, and a fourth dose
roughly 18 months later.