WHO / MALARIA PREVENTION

Preview Language:   Original
02-Oct-2023 00:05:40
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended a new vaccine, R21/Matrix-M, for the prevention of malaria in children. WHO

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STORY: WHO / MALARIA PREVENTION
TRT: 5:40
SOURCE: WHO
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 02 OCTOBER 2023, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, Exteriors, World Health Organization (WHO)

02 OCTOBER 2023, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Med shot, press briefing room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Almost exactly two years ago, WHO recommended the broad use of the world’s first malaria vaccine, called RTS,S. Today, it gives me great pleasure to announce that WHO is recommending a second vaccine, called R21/Matrix-M, to prevent malaria in children at risk of the disease. This recommendation is based on advice from two expert groups: the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization, and the Malaria Policy Advisory Group, or MPAG.”
4. Med shot, briefing room
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“The trials showed the vaccine to be safe, and safety monitoring will continue as the vaccine is rolled out. At a cost of between 2 and 4 US dollars a dose, it is comparable with other recommended malaria interventions and other childhood vaccines. As a malaria researcher, I used to dream of the day when we would have a safe and effective vaccine against malaria. Now, we have two.”
6. Med shot, briefing room
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Nearly half the world’s population remains at risk of malaria. In 2021, there were an estimated 247 million cases of malaria, and 619,000 deaths. 95 percent of cases and deaths are in Africa, and most deaths are in children under 5. Demand for the RTS,S vaccine far exceeds supply, so the R21 vaccine is a vital additional tool to protect more children faster, and to bring us closer to our vision of a malaria-free world. “
8. Med shot, briefing room
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Hanna Nohynek, Chief Physician, Department of Health Security at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Chair,
Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE):
“The availability of the second Malaria vaccine is expected to close the gap between supply and demand enabling broader and possibly unconstrained access. Malaria vaccines introduced widely have the potential of saving tens of thousands of young lives each year.”
10. Med shot, briefing room
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Pr Dyann Wirth, Chair, Malaria Policy Advisory Group, World Health Organization (WHO):
“A vaccine recruits the human immune system to fight the parasite as soon as it enters the body. A vaccinated person is poised to fight off the infection at the earliest stage. Both malaria vaccines R21 and RTSS are safe and effective and when implemented broadly are expected to have a high public health impact.”
12. Med shot, briefing room
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Mary Hamel, Senior Technical Officer, World Health Organization (WHO):
“But it will be really important not to substitute the one intervention for the other. We don’t want to roll out the vaccine and pull back on bed nets which are also life saving. Adding these interventions on top of each other is where we’re really going to get high impact.”
14. Med shot, briefing room
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Daniel Madandi, Director, Global Malaria Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Each minute, a child dies of malaria. This is a huge, huge burden to the health system, to the entire population. We hope that having this new tool, added to the tool that we do have. We can’t miss this opportunity, especially countries will make sure that they apply for this vaccine. The demand will be high, so the invitation to the supplier to produce according to demand.”
16. Med shot, briefing room
17. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Katherine O'Brien, Director, Immunization Vaccines and Biologicals, WHO
“There are two distinct processes that will happen. The first is the policy recommendation and that’s what you are hearing about today. In other words, a review of evidence on safety, efficacy, programmatic suitability, performance of the vaccines that we review.”
18. Med shot, briefing room
19. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Katherine O'Brien, Director, Immunization Vaccines and Biologicals, WHO
There is a distinct and separate review process that’s undertaken, that is a review from a regulatory perspective. And although there is similar data, that some of the data is similar data that is reviewed in both processes, there’s a slightly different lens that is taken. The regulatory process is also evaluating the safety and efficacy of the vaccine but also the quality manufacturing aspects. And it’s a distinct group of external experts who is responsible for that review. And that review has a lot of engagement with the manufacturer, particular around the steps involved in the manufacture of the vaccine.
20. Med shot, briefing room
21. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“R21 was not the only vaccine that SAGE reviewed at its meeting last week. It also recommended a new vaccine against dengue, called Qdenga, for children aged 6 to 16 years living in areas where dengue is a significant public health problem.”
22. Med shot, briefing room
23. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“SAGE also recommended a new vaccine against meningitis, called Men5CV, which has been shown to protect against five species of bacteria that cause the disease. And it recommended that for most COVID vaccines, a single dose is sufficient for primary immunization, given most people have had at least one prior infection. In addition, SAGE issued advice on the use of vaccines to prevent antimicrobial resistance, as well as for polio, cholera, mumps and smallpox.”
24. Wide shot, briefing room


STORYLINE:

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended a new vaccine, R21/Matrix-M, for the prevention of malaria in children. The recommendation follows advice from the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) and the Malaria Policy Advisory Group (MPAG) and was endorsed by the WHO Director-General following its regular biannual meeting held on 25-29 September.

Speaking today (02 Oct) to journalists in Geneva, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said, “almost exactly two years ago, WHO recommended the broad use of the world’s first malaria vaccine, called RTS,S. Today, it gives me great pleasure to announce that WHO is recommending a second vaccine, called R21/Matrix-M, to prevent malaria in children at risk of the disease. This recommendation is based on advice from two expert groups: the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization, and the Malaria Policy Advisory Group, or MPAG.”

According to him, “the trials showed the vaccine to be safe, and safety monitoring will continue as the vaccine is rolled out. At a cost of between 2 and 4 US dollars a dose, it is comparable with other recommended malaria interventions and other childhood vaccines. As a malaria researcher, I used to dream of the day when we would have a safe and effective vaccine against malaria. Now, we have two.”

He continued, “nearly half the world’s population remains at risk of malaria. In 2021, there were an estimated 247 million cases of malaria, and 619,000 deaths. 95 percent of cases and deaths are in Africa, and most deaths are in children under 5. Demand for the RTS,S vaccine far exceeds supply, so the R21 vaccine is a vital additional tool to protect more children faster, and to bring us closer to our vision of a malaria-free world.”

Hanna Nohynek, Chief Physician at the Department of Health Security at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare and Chair of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE), said, “The availability of the second Malaria vaccine is expected to close the gap between supply and demand enabling broader and possibly unconstrained access. Malaria vaccines introduced widely have the potential of saving tens of thousands of young lives each year.”

Also speaking to journalist, Dyann Wirth, Chair of the Malaria Policy Advisory Group at WHO, stated, “A vaccine recruits the human immune system to fight the parasite as soon as it enters the body. A vaccinated person is poised to fight off the infection at the earliest stage. Both malaria vaccines R21 and RTSS are safe and effective and when implemented broadly are expected to have a high public health impact.”

Mary Hamel, WHO’s Senior Technical Officer, added, “But it will be really important not to substitute the one intervention for the other. We don’t want to roll out the vaccine and pull back on bed nets which are also life saving. Adding these interventions on top of each other is where we’re really going to get high impact.”

Daniel Madandi, Director of WHO’s Global Malaria Programme, stressed, “each minute, a child dies of malaria. This is a huge, huge burden to the health system, to the entire population. We hope that having this new tool, added to the tool that we do have. We can’t miss this opportunity, especially countries will make sure that they apply for this vaccine. The demand will be high, so the invitation to the supplier to produce according to demand.”

For her part, Katherine O'Brien, Director of Immunization Vaccines and Biologicals at WHO, said, “There are two distinct processes that will happen. The first is the policy recommendation and that’s what you are hearing about today. In other words, a review of evidence on safety, efficacy, programmatic suitability, performance of the vaccines that we review.”

O'Brien added, “There is a distinct and separate review process that’s undertaken, that is a review from a regulatory perspective. And although there is similar data, that some of the data is similar data that is reviewed in both processes, there’s a slightly different lens that is taken.”

She continued, “The regulatory process is also evaluating the safety and efficacy of the vaccine but also the quality manufacturing aspects. And it’s a distinct group of external experts who is responsible for that review. And that review has a lot of engagement with the manufacturer, particular around the steps involved in the manufacture of the vaccine.”

The WHO chief Tedros added, “R21 was not the only vaccine that SAGE reviewed at its meeting last week. It also recommended a new vaccine against dengue, called Qdenga, for children aged 6 to 16 years living in areas where dengue is a significant public health problem.”

He also said, “SAGE also recommended a new vaccine against meningitis, called Men5CV, which has been shown to protect against five species of bacteria that cause the disease. And it recommended that for most COVID vaccines, a single dose is sufficient for primary immunization, given most people have had at least one prior infection.

Tedros concluded, “In addition, SAGE issued advice on the use of vaccines to prevent antimicrobial resistance, as well as for polio, cholera, mumps and smallpox.”
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