RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S) is the world’s first malaria vaccine shown to provide partial protection against malaria in young children. In October 2021, WHO recommended widespread use of RTS,S among children in regions with moderate to high P. falciparum malaria transmission. This recommendation is based on a Phase 3 trial completed in Africa in 2015 and the implementation programme in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi that has reached over 830,000 children as of December 2021. In collaboration with Imperial College London and PATH, we provided modelling evidence to support this recommendation and continue to support the WHO’s malaria advisory groups on policy (MPAG) and immunization (SAGE) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance in this initiative. This collaboration also supported Gavi’s decision to approve investment to support RTS,S vaccine introduction in eligible countries in sub-Saharan Africa in 2022-2025, as announced in December 2021. We are now assessing the public health impact and cost-effectiveness of introducing the vaccine alongside existing malaria interventions.
The aim of this grant is to provide model based estimates to support decision-making on RTS,S and country level implementation. This includes economic analysis to further evaluate the introduction through the expanded programme of immunization. As well as modelling to support understanding dynamics of the vaccine for different deployment modalities including seasonal deployment, alongside new model development and analysis of clinical and observational data.