Indian Economy News

Serum Institute ships its first set of malaria vaccine doses to Africa

The Serum Institute of India (SII) has shipped its first batch of the R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine to Africa, with 43,200 doses dispatched on Monday and 163,800 doses allocated for the Central African Region. Following CAR, countries such as South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo will also receive the vaccine. Developed in collaboration with the University of Oxford and Novavax’s Matrix-M adjuvant, this vaccine is the second malaria vaccine authorized for use in children in malaria-endemic regions. Although it is not immediately available in India, SII has produced 25 million doses and can scale up to 100 million annually, anticipating availability in India in 2-4 years.

The R21/Matrix-M vaccine represents a significant advancement after 30 years of research at the University of Oxford's Jenner Institute. It has received support from the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), the Wellcome Trust, and the European Investment Bank (EIB), with the World Health Organization recommending it for children in October last year. The vaccine aims to combat the significant health and economic impacts of malaria, which causes the death of 1,300 children daily. The shipment of this vaccine, along with GSK’s RTS, S/AS01E malaria vaccine produced by Bharat Biotech, highlights a global effort to reduce malaria mortality and morbidity in high-risk populations.

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