Benin, Liberia, Sierra Leone launch rollout of malaria vaccine

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the Republic of Benin, Liberia and Sierra Leone have launched a large-scale rollout of the life-saving malaria vaccine.

Two vaccines — RTS,S and R21 — are recommended by the WHO for vaccination of children against malaria.

In a statement on Thursday, the WHO said the vaccine rollout seeks to further scale up deployment in the African region.

“Today’s launch brings to eight the number of countries on the continent to offer the malaria vaccine as part of the childhood immunisation programmes, extending access to more comprehensive malaria prevention,” the statement reads.


“Several of the more than 30 countries in the African region that have expressed interest in the vaccine are scheduled to roll it out in 2025.

“This is through support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, as efforts continue to widen its deployment in the region in coordination with other prevention measures such as long-lasting insecticidal nets and seasonal malaria chemoprevention.”

Benin received 215,900 doses, Liberia received 112,000 doses and Sierra Leone received 550,000 doses.


Benjamin Hounkpatin, minister of health in Benin, said the introduction of the malaria vaccine in the expanded programme on immunisation is a major step forward in the fight against the scourge.

“I would like to reassure that the malaria vaccines are safe and effective and contribute to the protection of our children against this serious and fatal diseases,” he said.

Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, said the African region is advancing in the rollout of the malaria vaccine.

“Working with our member states and partners, we’re supporting the ongoing efforts to save the lives of young children and lower the malaria burden in the region,” she said.

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