The World Health Organization confirmed on 17 November that the world’s first malaria vaccine will be rolled out in pilot projects in sub-Saharan Africa. Vaccinations will start in 2018.
The vaccine, known as RTS,S, acts against P. falciparum, the most deadly malaria parasite globally, and the most prevalent in Africa. Advanced clinical trials have shown RTS,S to provide partial protection against malaria in young children.
“The pilot deployment of this first-generation vaccine marks a milestone in the fight against malaria,” said Dr Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme. “These pilot projects will provide the evidence we need from real-life settings to make informed decisions on whether to deploy the vaccine on a wide scale.”