Malaria : First doses of Mosquirix to be rolled out on January 22

The Malaria vaccine, Mosquirix has been included in the Expanded Immunization Programme (EPI), and will be administered to children aged 6 months as of December 31, from January 22. 

Cameroon’s Minister of Public Health, Dr. Manaouda Malachie is expected to launch the vaccination exercise that will be jointly carried out by the  EPI and the National Malaria Control Programme  (NMCP). 

It is the first time the country will immunize children with a Malaria-prevention vaccine. Public Health officials say they are hopeful that the  vaccine will reduce mortality and morbidity associated to the disease. 

Mosquirix will be administered to children aged 6-24 months in 4 doses in public and private health facilities, in 42 health districts. After the first dose at 6 months, three other doses will be administered at 7 months, 9 months and 24 months.

The Malaria vaccine, also known  as RTS,S is manufactured by British drugmaker GSK, and approved by the World Health Organization for the prevention of P. falciparum malaria in children in Sub-Saharan Africa and other regions with moderate to high Malaria transmission.

Dr. Manaouda Malachi says the vaccine was approved for use in Cameroon because of its “guaranteed quality, efficacy and safety”. 

He calls on parents whose children are within the target vaccination range to let their children be administered shots of the vaccine because it is “ safe, free and effective”. 

Cameroon acquired 331,000 doses of the vaccine on November 21, 2023, to step up efforts to beat Malaria which accounts for nearly half a million deaths in children below five, according to the World Health Organization. 

Figures from Cameroon’s Ministry of Public Health, show that about six million Malaria cases and 4000 deaths are recorded yearly, with children under 5 being the most affected. 

Kathy Neba Sina

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