Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), expressed his enthusiasm, saying, “In my capacity as a malaria researcher, I once aspired to witness the advent of a secure and efficacious malaria vaccine. Presently, we have been granted two such vaccines.”
On Monday, the WHO revealed that its panel of experts has recommended the adoption of a second malaria vaccine for children, known as R21/Matrix-M, which was developed by Oxford University in the United Kingdom. The Serum Institute of India is responsible for manufacturing the R21/Matrix-M vaccine, and it has already received approval for deployment in Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Nigeria.
Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reiterated his excitement, stating, “In my capacity as a malaria researcher, I once aspired to witness the advent of a secure and efficacious malaria vaccine. Presently, we have been granted two such vaccines.”
In 2021, the first malaria vaccine, RTS, S, produced by the British pharmaceutical company GSK, was endorsed by the WHO for safeguarding children in regions with a significant incidence of malaria.
Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the Regional Director for Africa at the WHO, highlighted the substantial potential of the new vaccine for the African continent, emphasizing that it could help alleviate the significant supply-demand gap. She asserted, “If these two vaccines are implemented on a large scale and widely distributed, they have the potential to fortify malaria prevention and control endeavors, ultimately saving the lives of countless African children from this lethal disease.”