1. Home
  2. Blog
  3. UPSC

R21/Matrix-M malaria Vaccine

Why is it in the news?

  • Recently, the R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine, developed by the University of Oxford and the Serum Institute of India, has been recommended for use by the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • The recommendation comes after a detailed scientific review by the WHO’s independent advisory bodies, including the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) and the Malaria Policy Advisory Group (MPAG).

More about the news

  • The Matrix-M component, a proprietary saponin-based adjuvant from Novavax, is used in the vaccine.
  • Novavax retains commercial rights in non-endemic countries, while the Serum Institute has rights for use in endemic countries.
  • The R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine has already been licensed for use in Ghana, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso.
  • The vaccine demonstrated efficacy of 75% at sites with high seasonal malaria transmission and 68% at sites with more perennial transmission using standard age-based administration.
  • Booster doses restored efficacy, with a vaccine efficacy over 18 months of 74% at seasonal sites.
  • The Serum Institute of India aims to scale up vaccine production to ensure accessibility for those in need.
  • The vaccine is expected to accelerate and expand access to a safe and potentially life-saving vaccine for controlling malaria, especially among children, who are disproportionately affected by the disease.

 About Malaria

  • Malaria is a mosquito-borne blood disease caused by Plasmodium protozoa.
  • The disease is transmitted through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
  • It is caused by Plasmodium parasites and can be life-threatening.
  • The parasites multiply in liver cells and then attack Red Blood Cells (RBCs) in the human body.
  • There are five parasite species that cause malaria in humans, with Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax posing the greatest threat.
  • Malaria is predominantly found in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa, South America, and Asia.
  • Common symptoms include fever, flu-like illness, chills, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue.

 Disease Burden

  • According to the latest World Malaria Report, there were 247 million cases of malaria in 2021, compared to 245 million cases in 2020.
  • In 2022, India reported over 45,000 cases of malaria.
  • Children under five years of age accounted for about 80% of all malaria deaths in the WHO African Region.

Initiatives to Curb Malaria:

 Global Initiatives

  • WHO’s ‘E-2025 Initiative’ identifies 25 countries with the potential to eradicate malaria by 2025.
  • The WHO’s Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016–2030 aims to reduce malaria case incidence and mortality rates by at least 40% by 2020, at least 75% by 2025, and at least 90% by 2030 against a 2015 baseline.
  • The High Burden to High Impact (HBHI) initiative targets 11 high malaria burden countries, including India.

Indian Initiatives

  • The Government of India set a target to eliminate malaria in India by 2027.
  • A National Framework for Malaria Elimination (2016-2030) was developed, focusing on shifting from malaria control to elimination.
  • A National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination for 5 years was launched in 2017. The plan aimed to end malaria in 571 districts out of India’s 678 districts by 2022.
  • The Malaria Elimination Research Alliance-India (MERA-India) was established by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to collaborate on malaria control efforts.

Get free UPSC Updates straight to your inbox!

Get Updates on New Notification about APPSC, TSPSC and UPSC

Get Current Affairs Updates Directly into your Inbox

Discover more from AMIGOS IAS

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading