Pharmaceutical company GSK has been awarded a contract to produce the world's first malaria vaccine so that millions more children are protected against the deadly disease, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) announced on Tuesday.
The landmark award, valued at up to $170 million, will result in 18 million doses of the RTS,S vaccine being made available over the next three years, potentially saving the lives of thousands of young people each year.
Malaria remains one of the leading causes of death for children under the age of five.
In 2020, almost half a million children died from the disease in Africa alone, at a rate of one death per minute.
Etleva Kadilli, UNICEF Supply Division Director, said the launch sends a clear message to malaria vaccine developers to continue their work.
“We hope this is just the beginning.
Continued innovation is needed to develop new and next-generation vaccines to increase the available supply and enable a healthier vaccine market,” she said.
"This is a major step forward in our collective efforts to save children's lives and reduce the burden of malaria as part of broader malaria prevention and control programs."
Preventable disease Malaria is caused by parasites and is transmitted to humans through infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
While the disease is preventable and curable, it can be fatal if left untreated.
More than 30 countries have areas with moderate to high malaria transmission, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHOOpens in a new window), and the vaccine could provide additional protection to more than 25 million children each year a once the supply increases.
The RTS,S malaria vaccine, the result of 35 years of research and development, is the first vaccine against a parasitic disease.
Pilot program It was launched in a 2019 pilot program, coordinated by the WHO, in three countries - Ghana, Kenya and Malawi - which has reached more than 800,000 children.
Last October, the UN health agency recommended Opens in new window for widespread use in countries with moderate to high malaria transmission.
That December, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, made the decision to provide funding for malaria vaccine programs in eligible countries, thus paving the way for broader implementation of the vaccine.
Funding 'window' opened CEO Seth Barkley reported that Gavi recently opened the 'application window' for funding requests.
“Thanks to UNICEF's procurement work, we now have more certainty about supply and can go one step further in getting this life-saving vaccine to the people who need it most.
As manufacturing increases over time, we expect that increased volumes will also lead to lower and more sustainable prices,” he said.
Meanwhile, the WHO has welcomed progress in ensuring timely supply and access to the vaccine so that more countries can introduce it as soon as possible.
“Lives are at stake every day,” said Dr. Kate O'Brien, director of WHO's Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals.
“Given the limited initial supply, it is crucial that children who live in areas where disease risk and need are highest are prioritized first.” High demand expected UNICEF expects demand for the malaria vaccine to be high among affected countries.
As with any new vaccine, supply will be limited at first, the agency said, but will increase as manufacturing capacity increases over time, which in turn will lead to lower costs per dose.
Plans are already underway to boost production, including through technology transfer, UNICEF added, "so that every child at risk will one day have a chance to be immunized against this deadly disease."
UNICEF awards $170m malaria vaccine contracUnited Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has awarded a contract for the first ever supply of a malaria vaccine to GSK with a value of up to 170 million dollars.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that GSK plc, formerly GlaxoSmithKline plc, is a British multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company with global headquarters in London, England.
Established in 2000 by a merger of Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham.
UNICEF in a statement issued from New York on Tuesday said the landmark award would lead to 18 million doses of RTS,01 (RTS,S) being available over the next three years, potentially saving thousands of lives every year.
In 2020, nearly half a million children died from malaria in Africa alone, a rate of one child death per minute.
Etleva Kadilli, Director of UNICEF’s Supply Division said the vaccine rollout would give a clear message to malaria vaccine developers to continue their work because malaria vaccines are needed and wanted.
“We hope this is just the beginning.
Continued innovation is needed to develop new and next-generation vaccines to increase available supply, and enable a healthier vaccine market.
“This is a giant step forward in our collective efforts to save children’s lives and reduce the burden of malaria as part of wider malaria prevention and control programmes.
” According to WHO data, more than 30 countries have areas with moderate to high malaria transmission, where the vaccine could provide added protection against malaria to over 25 million children each year once supply scales up.
The RTS,S malaria vaccine is the result of 35 years of research and development and is the first-ever vaccine against a parasitic disease.
The vaccine acts against Plasmodium falciparum, the most deadly malaria parasite globally and the most prevalent in Africa.
In 2019, pilot routine vaccine use was launched in three countries – Ghana, Kenya and Malawi – as part of the Malaria Vaccine Implementation Programme coordinated by WHO.
The experience and evidence generated by the pilots informed WHO’s recommendation in October 2021 for widespread use of the first malaria vaccine in countries with moderate to high P.
falciparum malaria transmission.
Soon after, in December 2021, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance’s decision to provide funding for malaria vaccine programmes in eligible countries opened the pathway for broader roll-out of the vaccine.
“We recently opened the first application window for Gavi support in rolling out the malaria vaccine.
“Thanks to UNICEF’s procurement work, we now have more certainty on supply and can move a step further towards getting this life-saving vaccine to the people who need it the most.
“As manufacturing ramps up over time, we hope that increasing volumes will also lead to more sustainable, lower prices,” Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, said.
Dr Kate O’Brien, WHO Director of the Department of Immunisation, Vaccines and Biologicals said lives are at stake, every day.
“WHO welcomes the progress to secure supply and timely access to vaccine so that more countries can begin to introduce this additional malaria prevention tool as rapidly as possible.
“Given the initial limited supply, it is crucial that children living in areas where the risk of disease and need is highest are prioritised first.
” This award is the culmination of 18 months of intensive preparation and consultation with industry and partners.
As the largest buyer of vaccines in the world, UNICEF accelerated action to conclude procurement negotiations, to ensure there are no delays in securing available supplies of the malaria vaccine to help protect vulnerable children.
Demand for the malaria vaccine is expected to be high among affected countries.
As with any new vaccine, supply will be limited at first and will increase over time as manufacturing capacity ramps up to the level required.
As volumes increase, costs per dose should decrease.
Plans are already underway to boost production, including through technology transfer, so that every child at risk will one day have the opportunity to be immunized against this killer disease.
“We must not lose sight of the need to accelerate access to this and future malaria vaccines, and to make the necessary investments in malaria control and immunization services, as well as in research and development.
“Effective malaria and immunization programs are both key to the successful delivery of a malaria vaccine and contribute to stronger health systems overall,” Dr Ashley Birkett, Global Head of Malaria Vaccines and Biologics at PATH, said.
UNICEF supports the regional diversification of vaccine production and encourages GSK and other pipeline manufacturers to consider partnering with companies in Africa as part of this effort.
The European Commission has signed a contract to allow EU member states to buy up to 250 million doses of a new Covid-19 vaccine developed in Spain, it said Tuesday.
The HIPRA vaccine has yet to be approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), but if it gets the green light it would be the eighth to join the EU joint procurement programme.
The Brussels EU executive oversees a joint buying strategy that has secured 4.
2 billion Covid vaccine doses so far, underpinning the bloc’s immunisation strategy.
Contracts have already been signed with AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK, Janssen, BioNtech-Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax and Valneva, although the latter has suspended production.
The HIPRA vaccine, also known as PHH-1V, is protein-based and intended as a booster shot for adults whose immunity is receding after their first two or three shots.
The EMA has placed it on “rolling review” and is studying the results of laboratory and clinical trials, with a view to possibly authorising its use later this year.
“With Covid-19 infections on the rise in Europe, we need to ensure maximum preparedness as we head into the autumn and winter months,” EU health commissioner Stella Kyriakides said.
“The HIPRA vaccine adds yet another option to complement our broad vaccine portfolio for our Member States and citizens.
An increase in vaccination and boosting is essential over the coming months.
” Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, speaking to reporters on a visit to Palma de Mallorca, seized on the contract as a sign that approval was imminent, declaring: “We have finally achieved this vaccine.
” He hailed Brussels’ confidence as a victory for “innovation and the pharmaceutical industry in our country” and for public research funding from the national and Catalan governments.
An agreement has been reached to allow the distribution of a low-cost generic version of a long-term preventive HIV treatment in low-income countries where most of the world's infections occur, Unitaid and the Medicines Patent Pool announced Thursday. .
The deal will see ViiV Healthcare, a subsidiary of UK pharmaceutical giant GSK, allow select manufacturers to produce generic versions of Cabotegravir LA, its long-acting pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) treatment for HIV.
The deal will provide access to the injectable version of cabotegravir, which has been shown to provide two months of protection against infection, in 90 countries where more than 70 percent of all new HIV infections occurred in 2020, Unitaid said.
“Access to an effective long-acting HIV prevention option could make a significant contribution to the goal of ending HIV transmission and the epidemic by 2030,” Unitaid spokesman Herve Verhoosel said.
"Efforts to increase access to Cabotegravir LA for PrEP will have a particular impact for groups experiencing particularly high rates of infection, such as men who have sex with men and sex workers," he added.
Long-acting cabotegravir injections have only recently become available and have been shown to be much more effective than an oral version that must be taken daily.
But cost — the price of a year's worth of treatment was $22,000 in the United States earlier this year — was an obstacle to widespread implementation in all but high-income countries.
'Top global priority' The World Health Organization released new guidelines on cabotegravir on Thursday, calling on countries to work to make the drug quickly available to those who need it.
"We hope that these new guidelines will help accelerate countries' efforts to begin planning for and offering CAB-LA alongside other HIV prevention options," said Meg Doherty, director of global HIV, hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections programs. of the WHO, in a statement.
The news comes a day after a new report presented at the International AIDS Conference in Montreal, Canada, which found that the global fight against HIV has stalled due to reduced resources due to Covid-19 and other crises. .
Last year there were around 1.5 million new infections, more than a million above global goals to fight the virus.
“Long-acting PrEP could play an important role in ending the HIV pandemic, but right now very few people can get it,” said Adeeba Kamarulzaman, president of the International AIDS Society, which is organizing the conference.
"Expanding affordable access to this game-changing prevention tool must be a global priority," he said in a statement.
Unitaid is a global health initiative that works to ensure equitable access to medical innovations in low- and middle-income countries.
The Medicines Patent Fund, founded by Unitaid and supported by the UN, works to obtain licenses for medicines needed for generic distribution in low- and middle-income countries.
Super Falcons’ Head Coach Randy Waldrum has picked team captain Onome Ebi and 24 other players to represent Nigeria at the 12th Women Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON).
Ademola Olajire, Director of Communications at Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), in a statement on Friday said the 25-player list was an interesting mix of the old guard and new blood.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the competition is scheduled for Morocco from July 2 to July 23.
“Veteran players Tochukwu Oluehi, Ebi, Rita Chikwelu, Osinachi Ohale, Francisca Ordega and Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene are on board.
”There are also defenders Ashleigh Plumptre, Nicole Payne and Michelle Alozie, midfielder Regina Otu and forwards Vivian Ikechukwu, Gift Monday and Ifeoma Onumonu,” Olajire said.
He however added that eight of the players who made the Falcons’ camp in Abuja were dropped.
”These are goalkeeper Rita Akarekor, defenders Chidinma Okeke, Ngozi Emenayo and Opeyemi Sunday, midfielders Suliat Abideen, Amanda Mbadi and Charity Adule, and forward Anam Imo.”
NAN reports that the Super Falcons will take on South Africa’s Banyana Banyana in their first match of the competition on July 4.
They then take on Botswana on July 7 and Burundi on July 10.
All the four semi-finalists at the competition in Morocco will qualify to represent Africa at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
NAN reports that the Falcons’ contingent will depart Nigeria for Morocco on Monday.
SUPER FALCONS FULL LIST FOR MOROCCO 2022
Goalkeepers: Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC, France); Tochukwu Oluehi (Maccabi Kishronot Hadera, Israel); Yewande Balogun (Coppermine United, U.S.)
Defenders: Glory Ogbonna (Santa Teresa FC, Spain); Onome Ebi (En Avant Guingamp, France); Osinachi Ohale (Deportivo Alaves, Spain)
Ashleigh Plumptre (Leicester City, England); Nicole Payne (West Virginia University, U.S.); Michelle Alozie (Houston Dash, U.S.); Akudo Ogbonna (Edo Queens)
Midfielders: Peace Efih (Kiryat Gat, Israel); Halimatu Ayinde (Eskilstuna FC, Sweden); Toni Oyedupe Payne (Sevilla FC, Spain); Regina Otu (Minsk FC, Belarus)
Christy Ucheibe (SL Benfica, Portugal); Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid, Spain); Rita Chikwelu (Madrid CFF, Spain); Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene (Eskilstuna FC, Sweden)
Forwards: Francisca Ordega (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Vivian Ikechukwu (WFC Gintra, Lithuania); Chinonyerem Macleans (GSK Gornik Leczna, Poland)
Ifeoma Onumonu ( Gotham FC, U.S.); Uchenna Kanu (Tigres Femenil, Mexico); Asisat Oshoala (FC Barcelona, Spain); Gift Monday (Bayelsa Queens)
The part-French, part-British pharmaceutical collaboration — Sanofi-GSK —
announced on Friday that their COVID-19 vaccine has been successfully tested against the Omicron variant of the Coronavirus.
The effectiveness of the protein-based vaccine against Omicron is around 72 per cent regarding symptomatic infection, according to
a phase 3 studies, Sanofi reported.
Meanwhile, for people already recovered, effectiveness goes up to 93 per cent, as 13,000 adults participated in the second stage
of the phase 3 study.
The vaccine contains antigens for the COVID variants D614 and Beta.
Sanofi and GSK will submit the results of the study to the European Medicines Agency next week in order to support their application for the vaccine to be authorised.
The two companies are also researching a specially adapted booster that will also be based on a beta variant of the virus.
Sanofi did not make any predictions about when they expect their vaccine to gain authorisation. (
The General Secretary, God’s Kingdom Society (GSK), Minister Benedict Hart, on Sunday in Abuja, called on the Christians and Muslims to take adequate precautionary measures to protect their places of worship.
Hart made the call on Sunday in Gwagwalada, at the church annual “Listeners’ Forum’’, a programme designed to have a one-on-one interaction with the people.
According to Hart, the programme started in 1978 with one television station but has now spread to many radio and television station across the country.
He said that the programme was a continuous event and having held the June edition in Gwagwalada, the next edition would be held at another location.
He urged Christians and Muslims to take security steps to protect their worship places to guard against attacks by insurgents and bandits.
He said that churches and mosques should always have security men around their premises, whenever they had service or other activities to protect them in addition to calling on God for ultimate protection.
He said that every member of the congregation should always be security conscious and vigilant to identify strange faces entering their premises to perpetrate evil.
“Christians and Muslims should always give themselves to prayers to God because He always protects His people’’, he said.
According to him, the faithful need to be more prayer now than ever before as the insecurity being witnessed around the world points to end time signs the Bible talks about.
“ Luke Chapter 21 verses 25 to 26 says: ‘’And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring.
“Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.’’.
He advised Churches and Mosques to install modern technological gadgets like Close Circuit Cameras (CCTVs) in their premises as part to measures to enhance the security of their members and property.
Earlier, Minister Orighoye Obelikpeyah, who is in charge of North Central Zone, of GSK, also advised Nigerians to vote in leaders that had the fear of God in the coming 2023 general elections.
According to him, Nigerians should vote the leaders who would use the commonwealth of the people for the generality of the people saying this is the only panacea for the challenges the country is facing.
French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi said on Wednesday that its Covid-19 vaccine, developed with Britain's GSK, had given positive results after nearly a year of delays that left it far behind rivals in the race due to a puncture.
The two drugmakers said in a statement that they "will seek regulatory clearance" for their vaccine in the United States and the European Union following Phase 3 trials involving thousands of people.
The trials, which have not yet been published, indicated the vaccine was 100 percent effective against severe Covid illness and hospitalizations, Sanofi said.
It was also more than 50 percent effective against all symptomatic covid, he added.
The results put the jab “in line with the expected effectiveness of the vaccine in the current environment dominated by worrying variants”, such as Omicron.
If the vaccine receives authorization, it will mark the end of Sanofi's long struggle to develop a Covid vaccine after numerous setbacks and delays.
The French firm originally hoped to have a vaccine available by mid-2021.
But the date was pushed back six months due to a dosing error, then pushed back again due to difficulties finding uninfected people to test.
Sanofi also abandoned an earlier vaccine project based on mRNA technology used by rivals Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, which have formed the backbone of vaccination efforts in many Western countries.
It is now focusing on a vaccine that uses a slightly less innovative technique based on recombinant protein technology, also seen in the Novavax jab.
Source Credit: TheGuardian
This international financing of the doses of the malaria vaccine for implementation in the countries is a concrete step forward to increase access to the RTS, S malaria vaccine.GENEVA, Switzerland, December 6, 2021 / APO Group / -
WHO welcomes the historic decision of the Gavi Alliance Board to invest in the first malaria vaccination program. The decision secures investment in the long-awaited malaria vaccine and ensures that many more at-risk children will benefit from this life-saving vaccine and additional malaria prevention.
The Gavi Board approved an investment to support the introduction, procurement and delivery of the malaria vaccine for Gavi-eligible countries in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2022-2025. An initial investment of US $ 155.7 million for 2022-2025 will initiate the implementation of this additional tool to "help reduce infant mortality in Africa," according to Gavi.
In response to the decision, Ghana's Minister of Health and Gavi Board member Hon. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu said in the announcement: “Ghana, along with several countries on the continent, is proud to have been involved in the pilot program and development of the first approved malaria vaccine, and today we welcome the decision made by Gavi board to invest in the malaria vaccination program. Now we must work together to ensure that children across the continent can benefit from this additional intervention against malaria. "
"This global investment is another milestone for the first malaria vaccine, which will boost child survival and expand the reach of malaria prevention through the existing childhood vaccination platform," said Dr. Kate O'Brien, Director of the Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals. "This international funding of doses of the malaria vaccine for implementation in the countries is a concrete step forward to increase access to the RTS, S malaria vaccine."
The WHO recommendation for the RTS, S malaria vaccine and this follow-up decision was achieved thanks to the support and contributions of WHO in many departments and all levels of the Organization, the Ministries of Health in the pilot countries of Ghana, Kenya and Malawi. African assessment partners, UNICEF, PATH, GSK, the sponsors of the Malaria Vaccine Implementation Program (MVIP) (Gavi, the Global Fund and Unitaid) and other public and private partners nationally and internationally.
Interest in the malaria vaccine in endemic countries is high and demand for the vaccine is expected to exceed the currently limited supply. Current estimates of vaccine production are up to 15 million doses per year; however, the demand is estimated at more than 80 million doses per year.
"The importance of these two announcements - first, the WHO recommendation and second, Gavi's decision to open a funding window for the vaccine - is truly historic," said Dr. Pedro Alonso, Director of the Global Malaria Program. . “We need new tools to meet our global malaria targets. And now, for the first time, we have a malaria vaccine that we estimate can save 40,000 to 80,000 more lives of African children each year. This represents a scientific and public health advance. "
WHO and its partners are committed to finding approaches and taking action to accelerate the availability of vaccines to increase access to vaccines and reduce childhood illnesses and deaths.
Don't miss this unique opportunity to witness an intensive, entertaining and highly visual afternoon of 100% pure trendsCAPE TOWN, South Africa, November 3, 2021 / APO Group / -
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