Update on the RTS,S Malaria Vaccine

17 March 2022

The Global Fund’s malaria Strategic Initiative, alongside Gavi and Unitaid, continues to fund the Malaria Vaccine implementation program to generate further evidence on the RTS,S vaccine’s impact, safety, and feasibility over the next two years.

Global Fund Country Teams will continue to support implementing countries’ efforts to develop evidence-based, costed national malaria plans and determine the best mix of malaria interventions based on national context. The introduction of RTS,S requires coordination between national immunization programs and malaria control programs, taking into consideration factors such as levels of malaria transmission, patterns of severe malaria, the structure and function of the health system, the use and coverage of existing malaria control interventions, and in what context the vaccine could best complement other tools as part of a package of interventions, as well as the capacity of the national immunization programs to roll out the vaccine. Positive decisions would also require appropriate national planning, including financial planning.

Different resources are being planned with partners, including Gavi, WHO and the Global Malaria Programme, to guide implementing countries on these decisions. WHO recently published a position paper on the malaria vaccine and updated guidelines for malaria. The Global Fund will continue to share resources as they become available. The Global Fund, Gavi, and partners intend to conduct a cross-country cost-effectiveness analysis of malaria interventions to shed light on the optimal mix.

In addition, WHO and technical partners are developing a Vaccine Allocation Framework, considering the available supply of the malaria vaccine is expected to be insufficient to meet demand in the coming years. The framework will support global decisions on malaria vaccine allocation and inform national decisions about vaccine prioritization while supply is limited. The framework is targeted to malaria-endemic countries, manufacturer(s), Gavi, UNICEF and other partners.