Ghana is the First Country to Approve Oxford’s Malaria Vaccine

Ghana is the first country in the world to approve the University of Oxford’s Malaria vaccine. The R21 vaccine offered upto 80% protection in early tests. However, Ghana‘s approval is unique because it comes before the last stage of trial data is published. Malaria is spread by a mosquito-borne parasite. The disease infects 250 million people a year and kills more than 600,000 - most of them children in Africa. In 2021, 12,500 Ghanaians died of malaria. Creating a vaccine has taken decades because malaria pathogens change shape in the body. In 2021, the WHO authorised the world’s first malaria vaccine, Mosquirix. Its creator GSK has committed to supplying 15 million doses a year, with four doses needed per person. The University of Oxford’s malaria vaccine, R21, also requires 4 doses, but its creators have stuck a deal with the Serum Institute of India at the cost of just a few dollars a dose. Ghana hasn’t yet confirmed when it will roll out the vaccine because regulators are still assessing its safety and effectiveness. Oxford’s scientists have described it as a ‘world changer’.