The government of Malawi through the ministry of Health has announced that the Malaria Vaccine will be rolled-out next month, November but in the first phase, it will target Children.
The Minister of Health, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda announced the development on Monday during the press briefing in Lilongwe that was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which was aimed at updating Malawians on United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) trip.
“We are rolling-out the Malaria Vaccine in November this year. Our first target will be Children as we all know that throughout rainy season, alot of them are victims of Malaria and over 60 percent of admissions in our hospitals is being diagnosed with Malaria,” said Kandodo.
The Malaria vaccine was originally studied in a Phase III trial conducted over five years from 2009 until 2014. It enrolled approximately 15,000 children in seven sub-Saharan countries.
UNC Project-Malawi was one of the 11 sites involved in the trial. Over four years of follow up, the vaccine prevented 39 percent of clinical cases of malaria in children ages 17 months to five years old who received four doses of the vaccine.
These results were published in The Lancet. After these results, the World Health Organization recognized the public health potential of the RTS,S vaccine, while also acknowledging the need for further evaluation before considering wide-scale deployment.
“Despite gains over the last decade, we have seen a stagnation in malaria control efforts in recent years,” said Jonathan Juliano, one of the study’s investigators and an associate professor of medicine in the UNC Division of Infectious Diseases.
“In certain areas of Africa, we have actually seen rates of malaria infection get worse. New interventions are needed to continue advancing toward elimination. Careful evaluation of candidate malaria vaccines is an essential part in the development of these new tools.”