In news: A malaria vaccine candidate tested on children in West Africa has shown an efficacy of around 77 per cent.
About the vaccine-
- The R21/Matrix-M vaccine, is developed by the Clinical Research Unit of Nanoro (CRUN), Burkina Faso and their partners at the University of Oxford in the UK.
- It is the first malaria vaccine to reach the 75 per cent efficacy target set by the WHO.
- The subjects in the study reported no serious side effects from the vaccine, which was found to be safe and can be manufactured at low cost on a large scale.
- The Serum Institute of India has manufactured the vaccine and will deliver more than 200 million doses of the vaccine once it is approved by regulators.
- It is a modified version of RTS,S which is another candidate against malaria that has been in development for more than 30 years.
- RTS,S is developed by Walter Reed Institute of Research, GlaxoSmithKline and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative.
- This vaccine is designed to stop the Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite from entering the liver and preventing the subsequent deadly blood stages.
- It targets the liver stage protein of the Plasmodium falciparum life cycle.
- RTS,S is the first, and to date the only, vaccine to reduce malaria in children but is not highly efficacious.
- Children under the age of 5 in sub-Saharan Africa accounted for approximately two-thirds of global deaths.
- Between 2000 and 2020, 24 countries reported zero indigenous cases of malaria for 3 or more years.
- This is the benchmark for the WHO certification of a country as malaria-free.
- Globally, 39 countries have achieved the milestone.
- In 2019, India had an estimated 5.6 million cases of malaria compared to about 20 million cases in 2020 according to WHO