Nigeria excluded as 12 African countries set to receive malaria vaccine

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Nigeria has been exempted from the list of 12 African countries that are set to receive the 18 million doses of the first-ever malaria vaccine. The Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organisation, and the United Nations Children’s Fund disclosed this in a joint press statement on Wednesday.

“Malaria remains one of Africa’s deadliest diseases, killing nearly half a million children under the age of five every year,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a briefing. The Mosquirix (RTS,S) vaccine, developed by British pharmaceutical giant GSK, has already been administered to more than 1.7 million children in three African countries — Ghana, Kenya and Malawi — as part of a pilot program.

“It has been shown to be safe and effective, resulting in a substantial reduction in severe malaria and a fall in child deaths,” Tedros said. In addition to the three test countries, which will continue to receive doses, nine other countries will benefit from supplies, WHO, UNICEF and the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) said in a statement.

They are Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Niger, Sierra Leone and Uganda.

The first vaccines are expected to arrive in the last quarter of 2023, and be deployed in early 2024.

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