GENEVA — The fight against malaria got a boost on Wednesday as the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended the widespread use of an existing vaccine, the first time the U.N. organization has backed a malaria treatment.
Known as RTS,S, the vaccine will now be recommended for widespread use in children living south of the Sahara, and in any other region with high incidences of malaria, according to the WHO.
“This is a historic moment. The long-awaited malaria vaccine for children is a breakthrough for science, child health and malaria control,” said WHO leader Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. He said that, in conjunction with prevention systems already in use, the vaccine could save tens of thousands of lives a year.