UNICEF has awarded GSK a USD 170 million contract for supplying the first malaria vaccine to UNICEF. It is expected that 18 million doses of RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S) will be made available over the next three years, potentially saving thousands of lives.
A child dies every minute from malaria in Africa alone in 2020, nearly half a million children.
“This vaccine rollout gives a clear message to malaria vaccine developers to continue their work because malaria vaccines are needed and wanted,” said Etleva Kadilli, Director of UNICEF’s Supply Division. “We hope this is just the beginning. Continued innovation is needed to develop new and next-generation vaccines to increase available supply, and enable a healthier vaccine market. This is a giant step forward in our collective efforts to save children’s lives and reduce the burden of malaria as part of wider malaria prevention and control programs.”
According to WHO data, more than 30 countries have areas with moderate to high malaria transmission, where the vaccine could provide added protection against malaria to over 25 million children each year once the supply scales up.