Malaria vaccine: GAVI to support Nigeria, others with $155.7m in 2022
The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation on Friday said it was supporting countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with $155.7m for the procurement and delivery of malaria vaccine starting from 2022.
GAVI, in a statement in Abuja on Friday, said its board also recognised the need for the integration and strengthening of the primary health care system.
The statement partly read, “The board’s historical approval of a malaria vaccine programme and financing will provide a critical new tool for African countries in the fight against malaria.
“With an initial investment of approximately $155.7m for 2022-2025, the board noted that a successful malaria vaccine programme should support deliberate and intensive coordination between malaria control and immunisation programmes at global and country levels to ensure the most impactful deployment of the vaccine alongside other interventions.
“Child immunisation provides a powerful platform to reach vulnerable children, including those who are unreached with bed nets or other existing prevention measures, and can help advance the equity agenda. Finally, the Board noted opportunities for next generation vaccines and a need for market-shaping efforts to support the development of a healthy malaria vaccine market.
The statement quoted the CEO of GAVI, Seth Berkley, as saying the decision of the body to finance the vaccination programme would save lots of lives annually.
He said, “Today marks an important milestone in our fight against malaria. This decision by the Gavi Board to finance a new malaria vaccination programme for countries in Sub-Saharan Africa could save tens of thousands of lives annually in Africa.
“The vaccine is an important additional tool to control malaria in Africa, alongside other interventions, such as routine use of insecticide-treated bed nets, indoor spraying with insecticides, malaria chemoprevention and timely testing and treatment.”
He said the body looked forward to working with global malaria stakeholders to make sure countries were able to implement the additional tool in the fight against malaria.
He added, “After considerable gains in the past two decades, progress in malaria control has stalled and new tools are urgently needed to get back on track. More than 260,000 African children under the age of five die from malaria annually and six Gavi-eligible countries account for 50 per cent of global mortality.
“Africa continues to bear the heaviest malaria burden and African children are at highest risk of dying of malaria, especially at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic threatens disruptions to immunisation programmes.”