New vaccine for pre vention of malaria in paediatric patients recommended by WHO
The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that it has recommended a new vaccine, R21/Matrix-M, for the prevention of malaria in children.
This recommendation follows advice from WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) and the Malaria Policy Advisory Group (MPAG), as well as being endorsed by WHO’s director-general during its regular biannual meeting on 25-29 September 2023.
As well as the new malaria vaccine, WHO also issued recommendations on vaccines for dengue and meningitis, as well as immunisation schedules and product recommendations for COVID-19, following the advice of SAGE.
This malaria vaccine is the second to be recommended by WHO, following RTS,S/AS01 which was recommended in 2021. Both have demonstrated safety and efficacy in preventing malaria in children and are expected to have a large impact on public health.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s director-general, commented: “As a malaria researcher, I used to dream of the day we would have a safe and effective vaccine against malaria. Now we have two. Demand for the RTS,S vaccine far exceeds supply, so this second vaccine is a vital additional tool to protect more children faster, and to bring us closer to our vision of a malaria-free future.”
Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, added: “This second vaccine holds real potential to close the huge demand-and-supply gap. Delivered to scale and rolled out widely, the two vaccines can help bolster malaria prevention and control efforts and save hundreds of thousands of young lives in Africa from this deadly disease.”
Pharmaceutical Industry news, analysis and insights