On Wednesday, 6th October 2021, the World Health Organization sanctioned the RTS,S/AS01, world’s first malaria vaccine.
Malaria is a very serious disease in hot countries, caused by a plasmodium parasite that is transmitted by the bite of a mosquito.
In 2019, there were an estimated 229 million cases of malaria worldwide.
About 2.3 million doses of the vaccine were administered to infants in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi.
The WHO African Region continues to carry a disproportionately high share of global malaria burden which consequently led to 94% of all malaria cases and deaths.
As per the global health body, it should be given to children across Africa, so that to spur stalled efforts to curb the spread of parasitic disease.
RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine is the first one to fight against the mosquito- borne disease that kills more than 400,000 people per year, which mostly includes African children.
The WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed his pleasure of success by stating that the African scientists developed this vaccine is in Africa itself and they’re very proud of it.
Let’s catch a glimpse on what actually is Mosquirix ?
GlaxoSmithKline in the year 1987 developed this vaccine.
As per the European Medicines Agency, Mosquirix is a vaccine given to the children of age 6 weeks – 17 months to fight against malaria. Not only this but it also helps protect liver against the hepatitis B virus.
The vaccine requires up to 4 doses and later about after several months, it’s protection fades away.
But anyways, considering the current situation, scientists state it to have a major impact against malaria in Africa.
0.5 ml of Mosquirix is injected into muscle of the thigh or around the shoulder.
A total of three injections with one each consecutive month is injected, soon after which, about 18 months later, the fourth injection is recommended.
The active substance in Mosquirix is made up of proteins found on the surface of the Plasmodium falciparum parasites.
When injected, the immune system recognizes the foreign proteins from the parasite and fights against them by making antibodies.
The effectiveness of the vaccine at preventing severe cases is approximately 30%, but then it is the only approved vaccine.
As per the WHO, the side effects could include fever which consequently could cause convulsions.
Thus, there already had been this immense tragedy of malaria and when the scenario is this serious, a good step was mandatory to be taken.
The WHO hopes that this latest recommendation would encourage scientists to work even better on vaccines.