Home HEALTH Serum Institute vaccine: SII commences shipments of malaria vaccine ‘R21/Matrix-M’ to Africa

Serum Institute vaccine: SII commences shipments of malaria vaccine ‘R21/Matrix-M’ to Africa

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Vaccines manufacturer Serum Institute of India (SII) on Monday said it has started exports of ‘R21/Matrix-M’ malaria vaccine to Africa as part of the global fight against the disease. Developed in collaboration with the University of Oxford and Novavax’s Matrix-M adjuvant, the R21/Matrix-M vaccine is the second malaria vaccine to be authorised for use in children in malaria-endemic regions, SII said in a statement.

The initial shipment is being sent to the Central African Republic (CAR), followed by other African countries such as South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo in the coming days, it added.

In total, 1,63,800 doses of the ‘R21/Matrix-M’ malaria vaccine have been specifically allocated for the CAR region, of which only 43,200 doses have been dispatched on Monday from SII’s facility in Pune.

“The shipment of the ‘R21/Matrix-M’ malaria vaccine to Africa marks a momentous milestone in our collective fight against this life-threatening disease. This achievement is a testament to the power of collaboration and the efforts of our dedicated workforce at the Serum Institute of India, working in partnership with Novavax and the University of Oxford,” SII Executive Director, R&D, Umesh Shaligram, said.

Novavax President and CEO John C Jacobs said, “The R21/Matrix-M vaccine is a vital new tool to help stop the devastating health and economic impact of malaria on nearly half of the world’s population, including the tragic loss of 1,300 children every single day.”

US Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti, who was present at the flag-off ceremony, said, “The development of the R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine represents a great step forward in our battle against this deadly parasite. The quality, affordable vaccines that will be produced through this partnership between Novavax and SII will prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths every year across the globe.” The start of the distribution at large scale of this high efficacy, very cost-effective vaccine should mark a turning point in the battle against malaria, said Professor Adrian Hill, Director of the Jenner Institute at Oxford University.

SII said the R21/Matrix-M vaccine received WHO recommendation for use in children last year in October. The vaccine is easily deployable, cost-effective and affordable.