April 20, 2024

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Cameroon Leads the Way with World’s First Malaria Vaccine Programme

Cameroon is launching the world’s first routine malaria vaccine programme, part of a global effort that is expected to save the lives of thousands of children across Africa.

The World Health Organization (WHO)-approved RTS,S vaccine, developed by British drugmaker GSK, is aimed at infants in Cameroon’s 42 worst-affected districts.

The central African country will be the first to administer doses as part of a routine immunization program, following successful pilot campaigns in Kenya, Ghana, and Malawi.

Health officials described the rollout, which is set to begin on Monday, as a watershed moment in the continent’s decades-long fight against malaria.

According to the global vaccine alliance Gavi, twenty other countries plan to implement the programme this year.

The four-dose vaccine is only about 30% effective, and protection starts to wane after a few months. GSK stated that it can only produce approximately 15 million doses per year.

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