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World's first malaria vaccine to go to 360,000 African children

Some 360,000 children a year in three African countries will receive the world's first malaria vaccine as part of a large-scale pilot project, the World Heal...

Posted: Apr 23, 2019 10:37 AM
Updated: Apr 23, 2019 11:45 AM

Some 360,000 children a year in three African countries will receive the world's first malaria vaccine as part of a large-scale pilot project, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday.

Malawi has started vaccinating children under two years of age and Kenya and Ghana will begin using the vaccine in the coming weeks, with health ministries in these countries deciding where it will be used, the WHO said.

The vaccine offers partial protection from the disease, with clinical trials finding that the vaccine prevented approximately four in 10 malaria cases, according to the WHO.

'We have seen tremendous gains from bed nets and other measures to control malaria in the last 15 years, but progress has stalled and even reversed in some areas. We need new solutions to get the malaria response back on track, and this vaccine gives us a promising tool to get there,' WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press statement.

'The malaria vaccine has the potential to save tens of thousands of children's lives.'

Malaria is a parasitic disease transmitted through the bite of female Anopheles mosquitoes. It is both preventable and treatable, yet an estimated 435,000 people die of it each year.

Children under five are at the greatest risk of its life-threatening complications and according to the WHO, it claims the life of one child every two minutes. Most of these deaths are in Africa, where more than 250,000 children die from the disease every year.

The vaccine, RTS,S, also known as Mosquirix, was created by scientists at the British pharmaceutical giant GSK in 1987. It has undergone years of testing and was supported by numerous organizations including PATH, a non-profit organization.

From 2000 to 2015, there was a 62% reduction in malaria deaths, according to the WHO, and a 41% reduction in the number of cases. However, more recent data suggests that malaria is making a comeback, with 219 million cases in 2017, compared with 217 million in 2016.

'It's a difficult disease to deal with. The tools we have are modestly effective but drugs and insecticides wear out -- after 10, 20 years mosquitoes become resistant. There's a real concern that in 2020s, [cases] are going to jump back up again,' said Adrian Hill, a professor of human genetics and director of the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford.

The vaccine will be given in four doses: three doses between five and nine months of age and the fourth dose provided around the 2nd birthday.

The WHO said the vaccine was a 'complementary malaria control tool' to be used in addition to bed nets treated with insecticide, spraying indoor areas with insecticides as well as prompt diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

Alena Pance, senior staff scientist at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, said the vaccine was not 'overwhelmingly effective.'

'But it is very important to bear in mind that 40% protection in the most endemic part of the world, Africa, is better than no protection at all. Ultimately, this is the only vaccine that has some efficacy that we currently have and has taken decades to develop, this is in itself good news,' Pance said.

Hill said that there had been 'stops and starts' about whether it was worth going forward with the vaccine but it would be a useful addition in the fight against the disease.

He said it would be particularly important to make sure that children received all four doses of the vaccine to maximize its efficacy.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1118335

Reported Deaths: 17712
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1455892240
Lake724831254
Allen67063882
Hamilton51060487
St. Joseph49820649
Elkhart40268546
Vanderburgh34714497
Tippecanoe30808276
Johnson27696467
Hendricks26313385
Porter25657386
Madison21131455
Clark20238279
Vigo19059309
LaPorte17192261
Howard16770314
Delaware16761303
Monroe16628220
Kosciusko14293167
Hancock13113186
Bartholomew12983190
Warrick12210190
Wayne12090269
Floyd12011226
Grant11998245
Morgan10409192
Boone9869124
Noble9316122
Henry9177169
Marshall9152147
Dearborn8970100
Dubois8835140
Shelby8281130
Cass8167128
Lawrence8057185
DeKalb7817109
Jackson770793
Huntington7661115
Gibson7102118
Montgomery7101123
Harrison6954100
Knox6915116
Steuben669089
Whitley659660
Miami6595113
Putnam645085
Clinton627179
Wabash6221111
Jasper613192
Jefferson5856105
Ripley557294
Adams542281
Daviess5076117
Scott491580
Wells4836105
White478469
Greene4701101
Clay464662
Decatur4611110
Fayette452496
Jennings452067
LaGrange427491
Posey410044
Randolph3944107
Washington390956
Fountain375964
Fulton364874
Spencer362247
Starke355574
Owen353577
Sullivan348555
Orange331372
Jay331050
Rush309533
Carroll296239
Franklin292744
Perry290553
Vermillion283658
Tipton251167
Parke250130
Pike248644
Blackford222144
Pulaski210359
Newton182452
Brown177550
Crawford169129
Benton168417
Martin152120
Switzerland147612
Warren135816
Union122616
Ohio92413
Unassigned0595

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1731003

Reported Deaths: 26851
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1803711843
Cuyahoga1698662655
Hamilton1144371544
Montgomery810251405
Summit726231210
Lucas636141027
Butler57225814
Stark543091183
Lorain42754645
Warren36183417
Mahoning36035788
Lake32696501
Clermont31523369
Trumbull27614620
Delaware27394185
Licking26829344
Medina26290353
Fairfield24812287
Greene24540373
Clark22327390
Portage21504283
Richland21257342
Wood20300248
Allen19119326
Miami17456352
Columbiana17014335
Muskingum16873207
Wayne15873307
Tuscarawas14579362
Marion13440196
Ashtabula12927237
Erie12790199
Scioto12556188
Pickaway12308155
Ross11780226
Hancock11623175
Geauga11042179
Lawrence10698172
Belmont10509234
Huron9867159
Jefferson9687228
Union963775
Sandusky9428166
Seneca8993161
Knox8869176
Washington8714159
Darke8435181
Athens841897
Ashland8102152
Auglaize8018120
Shelby7551135
Defiance7418117
Crawford7356150
Fulton7262113
Brown7217116
Logan7061111
Guernsey700586
Mercer6959100
Highland6807120
Clinton6547106
Williams653899
Madison652590
Preble6334140
Putnam6288122
Champaign585187
Jackson584597
Perry570579
Ottawa5689102
Coshocton5688108
Morrow521765
Fayette497272
Hardin4947100
Gallia474278
Van Wert469395
Pike467678
Adams4619110
Henry439280
Hocking412493
Holmes4035141
Wyandot379275
Carroll371178
Paulding326351
Meigs307561
Monroe236861
Noble221549
Morgan219039
Harrison215253
Vinton189138
Unassigned06
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