WHO Approves Use of First-Ever Vaccine Against Malaria

The World Health Organization has endorsed a first-of-its-kind vaccine against malaria for children in sub-Saharan Africa. The WHO said the vaccine proved to be safe and reduced severe malaria by 30% in children enrolled in a pilot program in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called the vaccine a major victory in the fight against one of the world’s worst infectious diseases.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: “This long-awaited malaria vaccine is a breakthrough for science, child health and malaria control. Using this vaccine in addition to existing tools to prevent malaria could save tens of thousands of young lives each year.”

It’s the first vaccine ever approved for use against a parasitic disease. Malaria claims the lives of about a half a million people each year, half of whom are children in Africa.