Ghana has approved the use of Oxford University's malaria vaccine after thirty years of research, and it is now available for distribution within the African country. The approval will make Ghana one of the first countries to do so, with it being thought that many more countries will swiftly follow.
The vaccine will help the country to combat the disease, which is currently classed as endemic and perennial and affects millions on an annual basis. It has been shown to be over 75% effective in a series of clinical trials, with those set in 2021 showing around 77% efficiency. The latest trials are currently ongoing in phase three, taking place in several countries, including the UK, Thailand, and a handful of African countries. However, early data has shown promising results.
CEO of the Serum Institute of India, Adar Poonawalla, made the following statement: "Malaria is a life-threatening disease that disproportionately affects the most vulnerable populations in our society and remains a leading cause of death in childhood. Developing a vaccine to greatly impact this huge disease burden has been extraordinarily difficult. At the Serum Institute of India, we are committed to our vision of Health for All and ensuring equitable access to vaccines for people around the world."
However, it's not just the malaria vaccine that has shown promise. For example, a 2021 clinical trial for a potential HIV vaccine showed 97% of participants displayed the desired response to suggest that the vaccine was highly effective.