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- The vaccine is developed by Oxford University and manufactured by Serum Institute of India.
- It is the world’s second WHO-recommended malaria vaccine, after RTS,S/AS 01.
- The new vaccine will be sold under the brand Mosquirix.
- This vaccine is meant for children under the age of five years.
- It has three primary doses and a booster shot after a year.
- It is specific to Plasmodium falciparum. So, it cannot be used to prevent infections caused by other malaria parasites like Plasmodium vivax.
- It uses the same adjuvant, Matrix M, as the COVID-19 vaccine, Novavax, a version of which was also rolled out by SII.
Benefits of the R21 Malaria Vaccine
- High efficacy: It has an efficacy of 75% in areas with seasonal prevalence and 68% in areas where the disease circulates all year round.
- Low cost: It is about half the price of RTS,S, the only other malaria vaccine available.
- Mass production: Serum Institute of India has the potential to mass-produce it on a large scale.
Why Prequalification by WHO is Important?
- WHO prequalification is the prerequisite for UNICEF procurement and funding support for Gavi deployment.
- As part of prequalification, WHO assesses vaccines using international standards to ensure they are safe, effective, and manufactured to global standards.
- It addresses the specific requirements of national immunisation programmes, including vaccine characteristics like potency, thermostability, presentation, labelling, and shipping conditions.
GAVI, The Vaccine Alliance
- GAVI was established as a public-private Global Health Partnership in 2000.
- Goal: Create equal access to new and underused vaccines for children in the world’s poorest countries.
- Accelerating access to vaccines
- Strengthening countries’ health and immunisation systems
- Introducing innovative new immunisation technology
- The permanent seats are held by UNICEF, WHO, the World Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Representatives of other Gavi partners serve on a time-limited basis.
Details on Malaria and Malaria in India > Malaria, New Malaria Vaccine R21/MatrixM – PMF IAS