WHO experts have put the brakes on rolling out the RTS,S malaria vaccine, which requires 4 doses and offers limited efficacy. The decision to do additional pilot testing on children, announced on Friday, effectively pushes out the possibility of a broad roll-out of the vaccine by 3-5 years.
Jon Abramson, chairman of the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts, or SAGE, emphasized the importance of children getting all 4 doses of the vaccine, also known as Mosquirix. “If we can’t get four doses of this vaccine into the children, we’re not going to be using it,” Abramson said
Trial data from 2011 and 2012 showed the vaccine reduced malaria episodes in 6–12 week-old babies by only 27% and by 46% in children 5–17 months old.