Oxford’s malaria vaccine first approved in Ghana

Oxford's malaria vaccine first approved in Ghana
Image: Reuter

Children in Ghana younger than three years old are eligible to receive a novel malaria vaccine developed by Oxford University.

Despite the best efforts of scientists to develop a vaccine, each year over 600,000 people, mostly children in Africa, fall victim to the mosquito-borne disease.

It is currently unknown when the Oxford vaccination will become available in Ghana.

Gavi and UNICEF normally foot the bill for pediatric immunizations in Africa, after receiving support from the World Health Organization (WHO), which is evaluating the vaccine’s safety and efficacy.

However, according to Oxford professor Adrian Hill, Ghana’s drug authority has authorized its use in children aged 5 to 36 who are at the highest risk of malaria-related death. Collaboration with the Serum Institute of India allows for the production of up to 200 million doses per year.

Hill asserts this is the first time an African nation has approved a crucial vaccine before affluent nations.

Additionally, he mentioned that it was uncommon for an African regulatory body to analyze the data before the WHO.

Since the emergence of COVID, African authorities, according to Hill, have adopted a significantly more aggressive stance, stating “We don’t want to be last in line.”

In 2018, the World Health Organization granted Mosquirix, a malaria vaccine developed by the British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, its mark of approval. Due to a dearth of capital and economic potential, the business was unable to produce enough dosages.

While the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 100 million doses of the four-dose vaccination are required annually to cover approximately 25 million children, GSK has committed to producing up to 15 million doses of Mosquirix annually through 2028.

Mosquirix was initially introduced in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi as part of a trial program, and has since expanded to other nations.

Since its introduction in 2019, more than 1,2 million children in the three countries have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Last month, the World Health Organization reported that in areas where the vaccine has been administered, child mortality has decreased by 10%.

In September, researchers presented interim findings from the Oxford vaccination study, which involved over 400 neonates and toddlers.

After 12 months following the fourth dose, the vaccination was 80% effective in the group that received a higher dose of the immune-stimulating adjuvant and 70% effective in the group that received a lesser dose.

Before the malaria season began in Burkina Faso, the necessary dosages were administered.

In the coming months, it is anticipated that the results of the phase III clinical trial currently recruiting 4,800 children in Burkina Faso, Kenya, Mali, and Tanzania will be published in a medical journal.

In the past six months, Hill has provided regulatory agencies with late-stage evidence indicating that the vaccine will function similarly to the phase II study.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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