The World’s First Malaria Vaccine
International Justice and Human Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defence
UNICEF announced the award of $170 million to the pharmaceutical company GSK, thanks to which more than 18 million doses of the world’s first malaria vaccine will be produced and distributed in the next three years. Such an award represents an important step ahead, able to save the lives of thousands of people, especially children who are the most vulnerable. Indeed, according to UNICEF Data (2022), “every 75 seconds, a child under 5 dies of malaria”. (UN News, 2022)
Malaria is a life-threatening disease that in 2020 threatened half of the world’s population, recording significant cases and deaths in sub-Saharan Africa, South-East Asia, Eastern Mediterranean, Western Pacific, and the Americas. In total, WHO recorded 241 million cases and around 627 000 deaths, with the African Region taking the lead.
Nevertheless, malaria can be prevented and cured. That is why making the vaccine available in those areas at high risk is crucial to save thousands of lives that are at stake every day. As state by Etleva Kadilli, Director of UNICEF’s Supply Division, “We hope this is just the beginning. Continued innovation is needed to develop new and next-generation vaccines to increase available supply, and enable a healthier vaccine market”. (UN News, 2022)
Sources and Further Reading:
United Nations (August 16, 2022), Millions more children to benefit from world’s first malaria vaccine: UNICEF, UN News, retrieved on August 17th, 2022, from https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/08/1124812.
World Health Organization (n.d), Health Topics: Malaria, WHO, retrieved on August 17th, 2022, from https://www.who.int/health-topics/malaria#tab=tab_1.
UNICEF (July 2022), Malaria, UNICEF Data, retrieved on August 17th, 2022, from https://data.unicef.org/topic/child-health/malaria/#:~:text=Many%20of%20these%20deaths%20are,750%20children%20under%20age%205.