Image by Mohamed Nuzrath from Pixabay

People across the world have waited almost for a century for a vaccine against Malaria. And after a century of studies and exploration, the world has developed a vaccine for this mosquito-borne disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the unrestricted acceptance of a malaria vaccine titled “RTS, S/AS01”. This vaccine is recommended among children in all the countries with moderate to high risk of malaria transmission. The RTS, S vaccine is the world’s first approved vaccine against malaria. The vaccine is 30% effective, and it requires four doses. Researchers are expecting that its approval will mark a beneficial time for people to tackle malaria.

Malaria has been one of the most sweeping diseases in human history for many centuries. It frequently hits infants and young children. RTS, S/AS01 vaccine is amongst medicine’s most prominent achievements, after more than a century of working. This new vaccine against Malaria was already proven useful around six years ago, however massive immunization programs were conducted later. And presently, following the progress of pilot immunization programs in Kenya, Ghana, and Malawi, the WHO has stated the vaccine should be transported across sub-Saharan Africa and in other regions with moderate to high malaria transmission.

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According to the World Malaria Report 2020 by WHO, there were 229 million cases of malaria in 2019, compared to 228 million cases in 2018. And the estimated number of malaria deaths stood at 4,09,000 in 2019, compared with 4,11,000 in 2018. Several African regions have been massively affected by this disease. In 2019, Africa was home to 94% of all malaria cases and deaths. The WHO African region continues to carry an excessively high share of the global malaria load. India has also been largely affected by this disease. According to WHO, India contributed 77% of the total malaria cases in Southeast Asia.

The RTS, S vaccine can be remarkably beneficial for the moderately and worst-affected regions in the world. WHO has stated that it is a historic moment. And accurately utilizing the vaccine, along with existing tools could save lakhs of young lives across the world. This much-awaited malaria vaccine for children is a massive discovery for science, child health, and malaria control.

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