According to Reuters, the manufacturer of the vaccine for malaria stated that there will be 20 million doses available for African nations to purchase this year. These nations are currently in the process of approving the vaccine.
Both Ghana and Nigeria’s pharmaceutical regulatory authorities have announced their support for the newly developed R21 vaccine this week, making them the first countries in the world to do so. The scientists at Oxford University were responsible for the development of this vaccine, while the Serum Institute of India was responsible for its production.
In the past, African nations who do not have large resources for drug regulation have depended on the United Nations organisation to initially assess new drugs because of its expertise in the field.
At the moment, the general public does not have access to all of the information that is available about the results of the malaria vaccine when it was tested on a big scale. In addition, it is yet unclear how countries with low incomes would be able to pay for the immunisation.
The urgency of tackling a disease that kills more than 600,000 people yearly, the majority of whom are children under the age of 5 in Africa south of the Sahara, and recent attempts to increase medication control in the region are changing the process. Both of these factors are contributing to the change.
During a high-level meeting that took place this week, the World Health Organisation announced that regulatory authorities from at least ten different African countries are presently examining trial data in order to evaluate the vaccine. In the next weeks, it is hoped that additional nations will join those that have already granted permission for the vaccine.
“We expect many more countries to come through,” Mary Hamel, who is the chief of malaria vaccine implementation for the WHO, said during the expert meeting on Tuesday. “Since they are sovereign nations, they are free to choose whatever vaccines they want for their populations.”
She did not provide any precise information regarding the countries that would be impacted. On the other hand, it is important to point out that Tanzania and Kenya both possess strict regulatory authorities in addition to relatively high incidence rates of the ailment.