Cameroon this week became the world’s first country to routinely vaccinate children against malaria, using a shot that’s only 30% effective and doesn’t stop transmission.
The country plans to give the vaccine — known as Mosquirix (RTS,S/AS01) — to about 250,000 children by the end of 2025. The GlaxoSmithKline-produced shot, recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), requires four doses and provides protection against severe illness caused by one type of malaria parasite.
Protection wanes over several months.
The first dose is given at age 6 months via an injection into the baby’s thigh. The second and third doses are given one and two months after the first injection, respectively. The fourth dose is given over a year later.
Dr. Paul Thomas — a retired pediatrician who grew up in Africa — said eradicating malaria was a “worthy goal” but that this vaccine was “sure to fail.”
“You cannot eliminate malaria with a vaccine that does not prevent transmission and is only 30% effective,” Thomas told The Defender. “Even Bill Gates — who loves vaccines and whose Gavi [the Vaccine Alliance] organization was behind the development of this vaccine — does not support this program.”
This vaccine will “clearly not protect or improve children’s health,” Thomas said. “[The rollout] is a futile and dangerous project that I feel strongly should be relegated to the scrap heap of failed ideas and programs.”
Shabnam Palesa Mohamed, executive director of Children’s Health Defense (CHD) Africa, agreed, telling The Defender, “As an African, I am once again horrified at the colonialism of Africa through Big Pharma, endorsed by the World Health Organization.”
Mohamed pointed out that Mosquirix does not meet the WHO’s goal of having licensed malaria vaccines with efficacies of at least 75% by the year 2030. She said:
“There is credible evidence to suggest that clean water and good sanitation, as well as medicines like artemesia and hydroxychloroquine are far more effective, safe and affordable in treating malaria.
“The African public and ethical leaders should take back health and sovereignty together.”…