07 Jun Malaria vaccine (RTS,S/AS01): A relief among chaos
Mosquirix(RTS,S/ AS01) is a protein- based recombinant malaria vaccine, recently approved by the EMA. It is the first licensed vaccine, to be used for a parasitic disease. Developed by GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines, Belgium, in collaboration with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Researchand funded in part by PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) and with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, it is considered as landmark achievement in the campaign against malaria. Mosquirix remains the first malaria vaccine to have completed Phase III trials, enrolling 15000 infants and young children from seven countries in sub- Saharan Africa. Efficacy was shown to range between 26- 50% in infants and children. Another set of preliminary studies indicated an efficacy of 86.7% in healthy, malaria- naive adults.
On November 2017, WHO announced the roll- out of the vaccine in pilot projects in three countries of sub-Saharan Africa. This WHO- coordinated programme is aimed to assess the vaccine’s efficacy in real- life settings. The programme will also evaluate the feasibility of delivery of the 4 required doses, the impact of the vaccines on the lives and the safety of the vaccine with respect to scheduled use.