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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, 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.
●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.
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Q. The term “R21/Matrix-M” is frequently seen in the news, it is related to:
A) Anti-Dengue Vaccine
B) Anti-malaria Vaccine
D) Operating System
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.