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RTS,S malaria vaccine development: progress and considerations for postapproval introduction

Authors Asante KP, Adjei G, Enuameh Y, Owusu-Agyei S

Received 3 August 2015

Accepted for publication 23 March 2016

Published 20 June 2016 Volume 2016:6 Pages 25—32


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Don Diamond

Kwaku Poku Asante, George Adjei, Yeetey Enuameh, Seth Owusu-Agyei

Kintampo Health Research Centre, Kintampo, Brong Ahafo Region, Ghana

Abstract: Though the burden of malaria has decreased in the last decade in some sub-Saharan African countries, it is still high in others, and there is no malaria vaccine in use. The development of malaria vaccines in combination with current control programs could be effective in reducing the malaria burden. In this paper, we review and discuss the progress made in the RTS,S malaria vaccine development and considerations for its postapproval process. We conclude that the development of malaria vaccines has been a long process confronted with challenges of funding, difficulty in identifying malaria antigens that correlate with protection, and development of adjuvant systems among others. The scientific approval of the vaccine by the European Medicines Agency in July 2015 and subsequent recommendations for pilot implementation studies by the World Health Organization made history as the first human parasite vaccine. It is also a major public health achievement as the vaccine has the potential to prevent thousands of malaria cases. However, there are implementation challenges such as cold chain systems, community acceptance, and monitoring of adverse events post-licensure that need to be carefully addressed.

Keywords: malaria, vaccines, challenges, introduction, Africa, implementation considerations

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