UNICEF / CAMEROON MALARIA VACCINES

Preview Language:   Original
22-Nov-2023 00:02:41
Shipments of the world’s first WHO-recommended malaria vaccine, RTS,S, have begun with 331,200 doses landing in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The delivery is the first to a country not previously involved in the malaria vaccine pilot programme and signals that scale-up of vaccination against malaria across the highest-risk areas on the African continent will begin shortly. UNICEF

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STORY: UNICEF / CAMEROON MALARIA VACCINES
TRT: 02:41
SOURCE: UNICEF
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT UNICEF ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: NATS

DATELINE: 21 NOVEMBER 2023, YAOUNDÉ, CAMEROON


SHOTLIST:

1. Wide shot, Brussels Airlines airplane taxiing in
2. Med shot, airplane turbine powering off
3. Med shot, first batch of the cargo comes out of cargo hatch
4. Wide shot, cargo sliding onto the cargo crane
5. Wide shot, another cargo crane driving to plane as an airport worker takes notes
6. Wide shot, airport worker adjusts cargo on the crane
7. Wide shot, cargo being lowered
8. Wide shot, dolly shot shows three large cargos
9. Med shot, airport workers surround cargo to start unpacking
10. Med shot, airport worker starts removing the outter packaging of the cargo.
11. Wide shot, numerous airport workers surround the cargo
12. Med shot, two vaccine boxes stacked up on the floor in front of the cargo
13. Med shot, airport workers adjust the placement of boxes inside cargo
14. Med shot, airport workers adjust the placement of boxes inside cargo
15. Close up, airport workers adjust the placement of boxes inside cargo
16. Wide shot, UNICEF Cameroon Deputy Representative Juliette Haenni, Cameroon Minister of Public Health Manaouda Malachie, other officials and airplane workers walk towards the cargo
17. Med shot, Cameroon Minister of Public Health Manaouda Malachie greets officials
18. Med shot, Cameroon Minister of Public Health Manaouda Malachie, UNICEF Cameroon Deputy Representative Juliette Haenni and other officials pose next to malaria vaccine boxes for a group photo
19. SOUNDBITE (English) Juliette Haenni, Cameroon Deputy Representative, UNICEF:
“It's quite a special moment today that we're receiving here at the airport the first batch of malaria vaccines. Cameroon is one of 11 countries in Africa, which has a very high burden of malaria. And that is why we're amongst the first countries being able to receive the vaccine. You must know that every minute one child under five dies from malaria worldwide. So this vaccine is a chance to prevent many deaths and make a step forward in the lives of the children. So thank you so much to all of you, to our donors, to our partners for making this happen, for helping us on this journey. Please stay tuned and see when we vaccinate the first child in Cameroon. Thank you so much.”



STORYLINE:


Shipments of the world’s first WHO-recommended malaria vaccine, RTS,S, have begun with 331,200 doses landing Tuesday night (21 Nov) in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The delivery is the first to a country not previously involved in the malaria vaccine pilot programme and signals that scale-up of vaccination against malaria across the highest-risk areas on the African continent will begin shortly.

Nearly every minute, a child under five dies of malaria. In 2021, there were 247 million malaria cases globally, which led to 619,000 deaths. Of these deaths, 77 per cent were children under 5 years of age, mostly in Africa. Malaria burden is the highest on the African continent, which accounts for approximately 95 percent of global malaria cases and 96 percent of related deaths in 2021.

A further 1.7 million doses of the RTS,S vaccine are expected to arrive in Burkina Faso, Liberia, Niger and Sierra Leone in the coming weeks, with additional African countries set to receive doses in the months ahead. This reflects the fact that several countries are now in the final stage of preparations for malaria vaccine introduction into routine immunisation programmes, which should see first doses administered in Q1 2024.

Comprehensive preparations are needed to introduce any new vaccine into essential immunisation programmes – such as training of healthcare workers, investing in infrastructure, technical capacity, vaccine storage, community engagement and demand, and sequencing and integrating rollout alongside the delivery of other vaccines and health interventions. Delivering the malaria vaccine has the added challenge of a four-dose schedule which requires careful planning to effectively deliver.

Since 2019, Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi have been administering the vaccine in a schedule of 4 doses from around 5 months of age in selected districts as part of the pilot programme, known as the Malaria Vaccine Implementation Programme (MVIP). More than 2 million children have been reached with the malaria vaccine in the three African countries through MVIP – resulting in a remarkable 13 percent drop in all-cause mortality in children age-eligible to receive the vaccine, and substantial reductions in severe malaria illness and hospitalizations. Other key findings from the pilot programme show that vaccine uptake is high, with no reduction in use of other malaria prevention measures or uptake of other vaccines. MVIP is coordinated by WHO in collaboration with UNICEF and other partners, and funded by Gavi, the Global Fund, and UNITAID, with donated doses from GSK, the manufacturer of the RTS,S vaccine.

The data from the pilot have shown the impact and safety of the RTS,S vaccine and provided important evidence on vaccine acceptability and uptake that helped inform the recent WHO recommendation of a second malaria vaccine – R21, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII). Results of a phase 3 trial for R21 showed that the vaccine has a good safety profile in the clinical trial setting and reduces malaria in children. It is expected that, like RTS,S, when R21 is implemented it will have similar high public health impact. The choice of which vaccine to be used in a country should be based on programmatic characteristics, vaccine supply, and affordability.

The R21 vaccine is currently under review by WHO for prequalification. The availability of two malaria vaccines is expected to increase supply to meet the high demand from African countries and result in sufficient vaccine doses to benefit all children living in areas where malaria is a public health risk. In preparation for scaled-up vaccination, Gavi, WHO, UNICEF and partners are working with countries that have expressed interest and/or have confirmed rollout plans on the next steps.

These developments mean that broad implementation of malaria vaccination in endemic regions has the potential to be a gamechanger for malaria control efforts, and could save tens of thousands of lives each year. However, malaria vaccines are not a standalone solution. They should be introduced in the context of the WHO-recommended package of malaria control measures which include insecticide-treated nets, indoor residual spraying, intermittent preventive treatment in pregnant women, antimalarials, effective case management, and treatment, all of which have helped to reduce malaria-related deaths since 2000. Importantly, the MVIP showed that delivering vaccines alongside non-vaccine interventions can reinforce the uptake of other vaccines and the use of insecticide treated nets, and overall boost access to malaria prevention measures.
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UNICEF
Alternate Title
unifeed231122b
Asset ID
3147350