Europe News Desk!! Ghana has become the first country to approve a new malaria vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII). The malaria vaccine – R21/Matrix-M – has been licensed for use in Ghana by the country’s Food and Drug Authority, the first regulatory approval by any country. The vaccine is approved for use in children aged five to 36 months, the age group at highest risk of death from malaria, which kills about 620,000 people each year, most of them young children. It is hoped that this important first step will enable the vaccine to help Ghanaian and African children combat malaria effectively. The R21/Matrix-M vaccine has demonstrated a high degree of efficacy and safety in Phase II trials, which also included children receiving a booster dose of R21/Matrix-M at one year following the primary three-dose regimen.
Professor Adrian Hill, principal investigator of the R21/Matrix-M program at the University of Oxford, said in a statement: “It marks the culmination of 30 years of malaria vaccine research at Oxford, with the design and provision of a high-efficacy vaccine that has been recognized as one of its most promising.” Adequate quantities can be supplied to countries in need. SII provided vaccines and sponsored Phase 3 licensed clinical trials. It will also produce between 100-200 million doses annually. Malaria is a life-threatening disease that disproportionately affects the most vulnerable populations in our society and remains a leading cause of death in childhood, said Adar Poonawalla, CEO Serum Institute of India, in a statement. Developing a vaccine to significantly impact this enormous disease burden has been extraordinarily difficult. He added that the company will increase production of the vaccine to meet the needs of countries with high malaria burden and support global efforts towards saving lives.
World News Desk!!