What is Mosquirix? Explained

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The World Health Organization (WHO) approved the world's first malaria vaccine on Wednesday. It should be given to youngsters across Africa, according to the World Health Organization, in the hope that it may jump-start stalling attempts to stop the parasitic disease's spread.

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  1. The RTS, S/ASO1 (RTS.S) vaccine, marketed as Mosquirix, was approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday (October 6). It is the first and, to date, the only vaccine to show a significant reduction in malaria, including life-threatening severe malaria, in testing on young African children.
  2. The vaccine protects against P. falciparum, the world's most lethal malaria parasite and the most common in Africa. Over a four-year period, the vaccine was able to prevent roughly 4 in 10 instances of malaria among children who got four doses in large-scale clinical trials.
What is Mosquirix?
  1. Mosquirix is a malaria vaccine that is administered to children aged 6 weeks to 17 months, according to the European Medicines Agency. 
  2. It also helps protect against hepatitis B virus infection of the liver, although the European Medicines Agency advises that the vaccination should not be taken only for this purpose.
Who developed the vaccine?
  • GlaxoSmithKline developed the vaccine in 1987. It does, however, have drawbacks: Mosquirix takes up to four doses, and its protection wears out after a few months. 
  • Nonetheless, experts believe the vaccine might have a significant influence on malaria in Africa.
  • In a large-scale trial program supervised by the WHO, 2.3 million doses of Mosquirix have been provided to babies in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi since 2019. The illness kills the majority of children under the age of five.
How is Mosquirix used?
  • Mosquirix is administered as a 0.5 mL injection into a thigh muscle or the muscle around the shoulder (the deltoid). 
  • The youngster receives three shots, one month between each one.
  • A fourth injection should be administered 18 months following the third. The medication is only available with a prescription.
How does Mosquirix perform?

  • According to European Medicines Agency scientists, the active ingredient in Mosquirix is made up of proteins discovered on the surface of Plasmodium falciparum parasites.
  • When given to a youngster, the immune system recognizes the parasite's 'external' proteins and stimulates the immune system against them..

Malaria is a life-threatening parasitic illness spread by bites from infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. It's both avoidable and treatable.

  • Despite this, there were a projected 229 million cases of malaria in the globe in 2019, with an estimated 409,000 malaria fatalities.
  • Children under the age of five are the most vulnerable to malaria, accounting for 67 percent (274,000) of all malaria fatalities globally in 2019.
  • According to WHO, India had an anticipated 5.6 million cases of malaria in 2019, compared to nearly 20 million cases in 2020.
Countries that have successfully eradicated malaria 
Countries that have had at least three years of zero indigenous malaria cases are eligible to apply for WHO malaria elimination certification. The WHO Director-General has certified 11 countries as malaria-free over the last two decades: 
  • The United Arab Emirates (2007)
  • Morocco (2010), 
  • Turkmenistan (2010)
  • Armenia (2011)
  • Sri Lanka (2016)
  • Kyrgyzstan (2016),
  • Paraguay (2018)
  •  Uzbekistan (2018)
  • Algeria (2019)
  • Argentina (2019)
  •  El Salvador (2021).

How the vaccination can contribute?

  • In the framework of comprehensive malaria control, WHO has suggested that the RTS, S/AS01 malaria vaccine be used to prevent P. falciparum malaria in children living in regions with moderate to high transmission, as defined by it.
  • Malaria vaccine should be administered in four doses to children beginning at the age of five months in order to reduce malaria illness and burden.

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