The World Health Organization (WHO) has backed the first malaria vaccine, which could be especially beneficial in areas such as sub-Saharan Africa with moderate to high malaria transmission rates. In 2019, malaria caused 409,000 deaths, according to WHO.
The vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) specifically targets plasmodium falciparum, a malaria strain common in sub-Saharan Africa. Plasmodium falciparum tends to be more dangerous and resistant to antimalarial drugs than other plasmodium species.
“This is a historic moment. The long-awaited malaria vaccine for children is a breakthrough for science, child health and malaria control,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a statement. “Using this vaccine on top of existing tools to prevent malaria could save tens of thousands of young lives each year.”
WHO recommended that el…