We were delighted to read this month that WHO is recommending a malaria vaccine for children under-5. They say,
“WHO recommends that in the context of comprehensive malaria control the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine [also called Mosquirix] be used for the prevention of P. falciparum malaria in children living in regions with moderate to high transmission as defined by WHO. RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine should be provided in a schedule of 4 doses in children from 5 months of age for the reduction of malaria disease and burden.”
The pilot programme in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi has already given 2.3 million doses to children.
This is not a cure and effectiveness varies from 30-70% depending on the age of the child, the spacing of the doses, the time of year they’re given and a number of other factors too. Research continues and scientists and doctors are working hard to improve outcomes.
Malaria is one of our 10 main health topics with 10 messages that children can learn and share. We hope that some day our messages will no longer be needed as we work towards eradicating malaria.