WHO recommends world’s first malaria vaccine for children
The World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday it recommends the widespread use of the world’s first and only malaria vaccine among children in sub-Saharan Africa and other regions with moderate to high levels of malaria transmission.
The recommendation was based on results from an ongoing pilot program of vaccinations in child health clinics across Ghana, Kenya and Malawi, according to WHO.
The program, launched in 2019, demonstrated that the RTS,S/AS01 vaccine is safe, cost-effective, feasible to deliver and significantly reduced deadly severe malaria by about 30%, WHO said.
Malaria is among the primary causes of childhood illness and death in sub-Saharan Africa, and more than 260,000 African children under the age of five die from malaria annually, according to WHO.