Malawi Is The First Nation To Immunise Children Against Malaria

The World Health Organization says Malawi has become the first country to begin immunizing children against malaria, using the only licensed vaccine to protect against the mosquito-spread disease.

Although the vaccine only protects about one-third of children who are immunized, those who get the shots are likely to have less severe cases of malaria. The parasitic disease kills about 435,000 people every year, the majority of them children under 5 in Africa.

“It’s an imperfect vaccine but it still has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives,” said Alister Craig, dean of biological sciences at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, who is not linked to WHO or vaccine. Craig said immunizing the most vulnerable children during peak malaria seasons could spare many thousands from falling ill or even dying.

The vaccine, known as Mosquirix, was developed by GlaxoSmithKline and was approved by the European Medicines Agency in 2015. A previous trial showed the vaccine was about 30% effective in children who got four doses, but that protection waned over time. Reported side effects include pain, fever and convulsions.

Pedro Alonso, director of WHO’s malaria program, said similar vaccination programs would begin in the coming weeks in Kenya and Ghana, with the aim of reaching about 360,000 children per year across the three countries.

Alonso called the vaccination rollout a “historical moment,” noting that it was significantly more difficult to design a vaccine against a parasite as opposed to a bacterium or virus.

He acknowledged the vaccine was flawed, but said the world could not afford to wait for a better option. “We don’t know how long it will take to develop the next-generation vaccine,” he said. “It may be many, many years away.”

More Articles for You

Akothee does the unthinkable in her latest song Rollam

It has been a season where many artist are pulling through in music. Madam Boss decided to give her video …

Six deadly diseases that can be transmitted through Kissing

Majority of people in relationships tend to love kissing compared to other things. It is vividly seen as an easier …

Varcity Piknik beyond inception

Varcity Piknik is a celebration of music, art, food and fashion. Varcity Piknik connects the youth across all universities. The …

What Kenyans have learnt from Eliud breaking his records?

  All hail to the king Eliud Kipchoge who ran 4.4 laps of the Hauptalleein in 1:59:40, successfully breaking the …

Akothee defends Silverstone airlines

Akothee came to defend the airline that she has been campaigning for a while. The plane that carried 50 passengers …

Moi University Students Suspend learning In Facility

Moi University Students commenced the better part of the day in demonstration in the school premises. The students were scattered …