Mosquirix Malaria Vaccine

Welcomes First Shipment of GSK’s

Minister of Cameroon, Manaouda Malachie. Image from X/@ReginaSondoM

In the fight against malaria, Cameroon received its inaugural delivery of Mosquirix, the malaria vaccine developed by British pharmaceutical company GSK Plc, on Tuesday night. This milestone comes as the nation contends with the mosquito-borne disease, responsible for over 600,000 global deaths annually.

The shipment, comprising 331,200 doses of the vaccine, known as RTS,S, was unloaded at Yaounde’s Nsimalen International Airport. Cameroon now stands as the initial African country to receive the vaccine, following pilot programs in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi.

Malaria, identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of Africa’s most lethal diseases, claims the lives of nearly half a million children under the age of five.

Cameroon’s health minister, Manaouda Malachie, announced that the initial vaccine consignment would be distributed to 42 out of the country’s 203 health districts. Malachie emphasized the significance of the vaccine as an additional measure to combat the disease, expressing hope that it would reduce the number of lives lost to malaria.

Inoculations are set to commence either next month or early next year, according to an anonymous health official who spoke to Reuters.

GSK reported that over 1.7 million children in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi have already received at least one dose of the Mosquirix vaccine. The company plans to extend the vaccine’s rollout to nine more malaria-endemic countries, including Cameroon, from early next year.

A joint statement from the global vaccine alliance GAVI, WHO, and UNICEF revealed that an additional 1.7 million doses of the RTS,S vaccine are anticipated to arrive in Burkina Faso, Liberia, Niger, and Sierra Leone in the coming weeks. Several other African nations are expected to receive doses in the following months.

Speaking on the occasion, UNICEF representative Juliette Haenni emphasized the historic nature of the moment, emphasizing the protection of children, particularly those aged six to 24 months, who are considered the most vulnerable.

The WHO anticipates that a second malaria vaccine, R21/Matrix-M, developed by Britain’s University of Oxford, will be available by mid-2024.

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