Apr 22, 2023 - Economy

New malaria vaccine will save children's lives

Data: WHO via Our World In Data; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: WHO via Our World In Data; Chart: Axios Visuals

One of the nastiest side-effects of COVID-19 was malaria. The pandemic caused major disruptions to anti-malaria projects across Africa, and a significant rise in the number of cases and deaths — most of which were in children under the age of 5.

What's new: Now there's real hope that a vaccine could cause deaths to plunge.

Why it matters: The R21 vaccine, developed by the University of Oxford, has already been approved by both Ghana and Nigeria; it's an improved version of the RTS,S vaccine that has already been approved by the WHO.

  • The Serum Institute of India expects to produce as many as 200 million doses per year, and is building a vaccine factory in Ghana's capital, Accra.
  • The vaccine is intended for use in children between 5 months and 3 years old, and early indications are that it is 77% effective.

The bottom line: "This is a preventable, treatable disease," says Harvard professor Dyann Wirth. "No child should die of this."

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