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‘India unlikely to be hit by malaria soon’

Experts said the WHO-recommended malaria vaccine for widespread use among children in sub-Saharan Africa is unlikely to be introduced in India anytime soon.

Known by the brand names RTS, S, Mosquito, has been recommended by WHO.

Data from the National Vector-Borne Disease Control Program says that while India had 1,018 malaria deaths in 2010, there were 93 such deaths in 2020.

Health officials said the overall endemicity of malaria in the country has also declined. Dr Rajni Kant, director of the ICMR-Regional Medical Research Centre, Gorakhpur, said the government will decide whether and when to introduce the vaccines, which have not been approved for use in India. Dr Rajni Kant said, “It will be helpful in malaria control and prevention of infection, but there is not much effect yet.”

Dr VS Chauhan, who is known for his role in the development of a recombinant vaccine for malaria, said the vaccine has gone through all the trials but its effectiveness was low.

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