Malaria vaccine R21/Matrix-M could prevent one death for approximately every 159 vaccinated children in settings with year-round malaria transmission and for every 153 vaccinated children in seasonal settings over 15 years, according to the modelling study.
This research , published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, estimates that over a 15-year period, the vaccine has the potential to prevent 200,000 cases and 650 deaths from malaria in areas with seasonal malaria for every 100,000 children vaccinated. The vaccine, which was recently recommended for use by the World Health Organization (WHO), is estimated to prevent 180,000 cases and 630 deaths from malaria for every 100,000 children vaccinated in regions where malaria transmission occurs throughout the year.
The research team, consisting of colleagues in the UK, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Mali, Tanzania and Italy, estimates that it would cost US$7 to prevent one case in regions where malaria is seasonal, and US$6 in regions where malaria transmission occurs throughout the year.
The burden of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa remains unacceptably high. This vaccine has the potential to markedly lower childhood malaria morbidity and mortality. Dr Pete WinskillThe study uses phase 2b clinical trial data from Burkina Faso to model the efficacy of the R21/Matrix-M vaccine, and the team validated model results using the phase 3 clinical trial data which were published recently. In addition to estimating cases and deaths, the modelling study also estimates the cost-effectiveness over a 15-year time period across a range of settings in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The authors demonstrate that introducing R21/Matrix-M into routine childhood immunization programs or through mass seasonal vaccination campaigns in malaria-endemic areas of Sub-Saharan Africa could have a substantial public health impact.
The work, carried out by Imperial College London’s MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, were published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
Dr Nora Schmit, Research Associate at Imperial College London, said: "Roll-out of the R21/Matrix-M vaccine could be highly beneficial for children living in malaria-endemic areas of Africa and play an important role in reducing the burden of malaria in the future."
Dr Hillary Topazian, Research Associate in malaria epidemiology at Imperial College London, said: "We found that R21 is quite cost-effective, with levels similar to that of other malaria interventions and other common childhood vaccines in the broad settings we tested."
Dr Pete Winskill, Research Fellow at Imperial College London, said: "The burden of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa remains unacceptably high. Our modelling study estimates that the R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine could prevent 1 malaria death for every 160 children vaccinated. Used alongside existing malaria interventions, this vaccine has the potential to markedly lower childhood malaria morbidity and mortality."