Ghana Becomes First Country To Approve Oxford Malaria Vaccine

Ghana Becomes First Country To Approve Oxford Malaria Vaccine

Ghana has approved a new malaria vaccine (R21) from Oxford University to be administered to children from five months to three years old.

Trial data from preliminary studies in Burkina Faso showed that the vaccine was up to 80 percent effective when given as three initial doses, and a booster a year later, according to a report by BBC.

However, the widespread use of the vaccine hinges on the results of a larger trial involving nearly 5,000 children.

To ensure availability of the vaccine in the country, the Serum Institute of India said it is set to produce between 100 – 200 million doses of the vaccine annually with a vaccine factory being constructed in Accra, Ghana.

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The vaccine is not yet to be rolled out in the country as the World Health Organization (WHO) and other regulatory bodies are still assessing its safety and effectiveness.

Meanwhile, Nigeria has missed the first and second application windows for the RTSS/AS01 malaria vaccine, being the first malaria vaccine.

Akelicious gathered that the first window of application for the vaccine was opened by GAVI the vaccine alliance in July 2022, covering three countries; Kenya, Ghana and Malawi.

A second window was opened to all other countries including Nigeria from the end of 2022 to January 17, 2023.

A third window of application is currently open and will be closing by April 18, 2023. “I’m not sure Nigeria has applied for this third window” a source disclosed.

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The malaria vaccine, approved by WHO in 2022, was first piloted in 2019. It is the world’s first malaria vaccine shown to provide partial protection against malaria in children under five, and is the first-ever vaccine against a human parasite recommended for use by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

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