Development of the malaria vaccine (with the name RTS,S) already started in 1987, but only in 2019 its efficiency was tested in a wide-ranging study in three African countries, the encouraging results of which caused the WHO to broadly recommend the use of the vaccine in October 2021.
This desicion is especially important for children living in high-risk areas for malaria transmission, who are most likely to suffer from severe symptoms or might even die upon infection. In combination with the preventative measures already in place like mosquito-nets or malaria medication the vaccine could help reduce the number of hospitalization and blood transfusions that are needed for treatment.
Even though with 39% the efficacy of the vaccine is relatively low compared to other vaccines every additional tool to prevent more deaths is very important and improving the efficacy as well as finding new vaccines is already being worked on.
At the moment it is estimated that until 2028 15 million doses of the vaccine will be produced but this is not nearly enough as according to a study conducted by the WHO between 50 and 110 million doses are needed per year leaving a lot of room for improvement in this regard.