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Oxford-Serum malaria vaccine wins WHO’s recommendation


Mumbai: A malaria vaccine jointly developed by University of Oxford and Serum Institute of India (SII), leveraging Novavax’s adjuvant, has been recommended for use by the World Health Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts and the Malaria Policy Advisory Group, paving the way for a global rollout soon.

The R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine is an easily deployable vaccine that can be manufactured at mass scale at a modest cost, enabling as many as hundreds of millions of doses to be supplied to countries which are suffering a significant malaria burden, according to a news release posted on the Oxford University website.

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SII has already established production capacity for 100 million doses per annum, which will be doubled over the next two years, it said.

WHO’s recommendation is required for the procurement of the vaccine by Unicef and the Gavi vaccine alliance.

Half a million people die from malaria every year across the world, the release said.

“For far too long, malaria has threatened the lives of billions of people across the globe, disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable amongst us,” the news release said, quoting SII chief executive Adar Poonawalla. “This is why the WHO recommendation and approval of the R21/Matrix-M vaccine marks a huge milestone on our journey to combat this life-threatening disease…,” he said.The vaccine was developed by the Jenner Institute at Oxford University and SII with support from the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership, the Wellcome Trust and the European Investment Bank. To date, the vaccine has been licensed for use in Ghana, Nigeria and Burkina Faso.


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