The World Health Organization (WHO) approved mass use of a vaccine against malaria called RTS, S, whose first tests were effective.
As part of a pilot program, more than 800,000 children, in various countries and for several years, received this vaccine, the effectiveness of which has been sufficient for the WHO to approve it and recommend its immediate use.
“We have long waited for an effective vaccine against malaria,” explained Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Director for Africa. “This recommendation gives us a glimmer of hope in a continent hard hit by the disease and we hope that many children will be protected against malaria and grow up to be healthy adults.”
According to the WHO, this vaccine constitutes a historic moment, a turning point for science, child health and malaria control, which continues to be the leading cause of illness and death in children south of the Sahara (260,000 infant deaths per year). anus).
The RTS, S vaccine has been classified as safe and has not caused complications with other vaccines given to children. It is estimated that it can also reduce infections of the disease by 40 percent and prevent the most severe cases of malaria, which include death, by 30 percent.
In total, more than 2.3 million vaccines have been administered and a complete vaccination schedule will require four doses: the first three at five, six and seven months of age, plus a booster applied at 18 months of age.