New malaria vaccine will save lives, Kagwe says
The government yesterday defended the deployment of the new malaria vaccine despite its relatively low efficacy.
The Health Ministry said the first ever malaria vaccine, which has a 30 per cent efficacy, would provide protection to children.
Some experts have criticised the government for rolling out the vaccine.
“It will save the lives of our children,” acting Health Director General Dr. Patrick Amoth (pictured) said in response to concerns about its effectiveness.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, who was represented by Dr. Amoth during a breakfast meeting with the media, said in regions where the vaccine had been administered to children, it had provided additional protection as part of a larger package of anti-malaria tools.
“Through pilots, we have confirmed the vaccine is safe, significantly reduces severe, life-threatening malaria and can be delivered successfully in real-life childhood vaccination settings,” Kagwe said.
He said the vaccine had been particularly valuable to children who lacked access to other interventions such as treated mosquito nets.
World Health Organisation (WHO) also defended the vaccine saying it was an advancement in the fight against malaria.
WHO Representative for Kenya Dr Juliet Nabyonga said the vaccine reduced clinical and severe cases of malaria by about one-third of children between five and 17 months.