IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


4th October, 2023 Health

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Picture Courtesy: economictimes

Context: The World Health Organization (WHO) has approved a second anti-malaria vaccine for children, known as the R21/Matrix-M vaccine.

R21/Matrix-M vaccine

  • R21/Matrix-M vaccine, developed by the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, is seen as a significant milestone in the fight against malaria, particularly in Africa, where the disease is a major health concern. This approval follows the previous recommendation of the RTS,S/AS01 vaccine for malaria prevention.
    • Both vaccines are considered safe and effective in preventing malaria in children and are expected to have a significant public health impact.
  • The approval of the R21 vaccine is expected to help address the demand-and-supply gap for malaria vaccines, as the supply of the RTS,S vaccine has been limited. This means that more children can potentially benefit from malaria vaccination.
  • The R21 vaccine is planned to be rolled out in several African countries, including Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Nigeria, in early 2024. It will become available in mid-2024 in other countries, and the cost per dose is expected to range between $2 and $4.
  • The R21 vaccine is currently under review by WHO for prequalification. Once it receives WHO approval, organizations like GAVI and UNICEF will be able to purchase the vaccine from manufacturers.
  • The WHO's recommendations for these vaccines are based on the advice of two expert groups: the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) and the Malaria Policy Advisory Group.

Other Recommendations

In addition to the anti-malaria vaccine recommendations, the WHO also recommended Takeda Pharmaceuticals' vaccine against dengue for children aged six to 16 in areas where dengue infection is a significant public health issue.

The WHO advised that all countries in the African "meningitis belt" should introduce a vaccine known as (Men5CV) into their routine immunization programs. This vaccine, administered with a single dose scheduled at nine to 18 months of age, is intended to combat meningitis in the region.

Must Read Articles:

MALARIA: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/malaria-2


Q. The term “R21/Matrix-M” is frequently seen in the news, it is related to:

A) Anti-Dengue Vaccine

B) Anti-malaria Vaccine

C) Malware

D) Operating System

Answer: B


The R21/Matrix-M vaccine is designed to prevent malaria infections by stimulating the immune system to produce a protective response against the malaria parasite.