Ghana Makes history, Becomes First Country To Approve Oxford’s Malaria Vaccine
Ghana is the first nation in the world to approve R21, a new malaria vaccine created by Oxford University.
In preliminary studies conducted in Burkina Faso, the vaccine was shown to be highly effective. The vaccine was found to be up to 80% effective when administered in three initial doses and a booster dose one year later.
The vaccine is intended to benefit children younger than three years of age. Malaria kills approximately 620,000 people annually, the majority of whom are young children. Ghana’s drug regulators have evaluated the final trial data on the vaccine’s safety and efficacy, which is not yet public, and have decided to use it. The World Health Organization is also evaluating the vaccine’s approval.
The creation of a vaccine that protects the body from the malaria parasite has been a massive, century-long scientific endeavour. The widespread use of the R21 vaccine is contingent on the outcome of a larger study involving nearly 5,000 children. Although these trials were anticipated to occur by the end of the previous year, they have not yet been formally announced. However, the information has been shared with African government agencies and scientists.
Other African countries and the World Health Organization are analysing the data. Prof. Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford, where the vaccine was developed, stated that African countries are declaring “we’ll decide” after being left behind in the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines during the pandemic. In addition, he anticipates that the R21 vaccine will have a substantial impact on childhood malaria mortality in the coming years and contribute to the overall goal of malaria eradication and elimination.
A vaccine factory is being constructed in Accra, Ghana, and the Serum Institute of India is preparing to produce 100-200 million doses of the vaccine annually.
It is anticipated that each dose of the R21 vaccine will cost a few dollars. The CEO of the Serum Institute, Adar Poonawalla, stated that developing a vaccine to combat malaria’s massive disease burden had been extraordinarily challenging. He added that Ghana, as the first nation to approve the vaccine, represents a major milestone in the global fight against malaria.
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