24 June 2016

GAVI: 27.5 million to support first phase of Malaria vaccine pilots

The pilots will provide real-world insight into how the RTS,S malaria vaccine, developed by GSK, could be implemented in Africa, given that three of the four doses of the vaccine will be given outside the normal schedule for childhood vaccinations. They also will generate further evidence on the vaccine’s potential to reduce the death toll from malaria, which claims almost 440,000 lives every year. Tackling malaria is a vital element of ending preventable deaths, as highlighted in the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health.

WHO is currently finalising the design of the pilots and will select three African locations to begin implementation, as recommended jointly by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation (SAGE) and the Malaria Policy Advisory Committee (MPAC).

“Gavi is ready to play its part in helping the world to understand the opportunities and challenges of implementing the world’s first malaria vaccine in real life settings,” said Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chair of the Gavi Board. “Malaria’s heavy burden on Africa means it is vital that we understand the impact of this vaccine in communities, as was so powerfully articulated by the African Ministers of Health represented at the Board. We call on others to come forward with sufficient funding to enable the pilots to proceed.”