Experts from the Malaria Vaccine Initiative recently announced that a new malaria vaccine may become available in Rwanda as early as 2015.
Dr. Bernhards Ogutu, the coordinator of the Kenya Medical Research Institute, made the announcement at a three day international malaria forum held in Kigali. Ogutu said the vaccine still needs to receive a recommendation from the World Health Organization, according to AllAfrica.com.
“Multiple types of evidence at national level would be required for an informed policy decision; impact would only be achieved through effective implementation and post-implementation planning” Ogutu said, AllAfrica.com reports.
According to current plans, the European Medicines Agency is scheduled to issue its opinion on the matter in 2014. Afterwards, national regulatory committees in individual African nations will be able to decide whether or not to proceed with vaccination campaigns.
“Progress has been made in malaria vaccine research, there is hope for a first-generation vaccine, RTS,S,” Dr. Antoinette Ba-Nguz, the head of policy and access at the Malaria Vaccine Initiative, said, AllAfrica.com reports.
Ba-Nguz said that individual nations, including Rwanda, need to start making plans and collecting the necessary data. She hopes that by starting immediately, countries that wish to use the vaccine can identify potential supply bottlenecks and strengthen current malaria protection programs.