The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended the new malaria vaccine R21/Matrix-M for the prevention of malaria in children.

The approval of the R21 vaccine is expected to result in sufficient vaccine supply to benefit all children living in areas where malaria is a public health risk.

The R21 vaccine is the second malaria vaccine to be recommended by WHO. In 2021, WHO recommended the RTS,S/AS01 vaccine. Both vaccines are safe and effective in preventing malaria in children.

Malaria kills more than 600,000 people each year. In 2021, there were an estimated 247 million cases of malaria with 95% of cases occurring in the WHO African Region. Children under 5 are the most vulnerable group affected by malaria.

Malaria vaccines have taken decades to develop due to the complicated structure of the malaria parasite. Earlier this year, Ghana was the first country to approve the R21 vaccine.

WHO: WHO recommends R21/Matrix-M vaccine for malaria prevention