GSK envisions 'thoughtful, staged rollout' for Mosquirix

GlaxoSmithKline's ($GSK) malaria jab got the green light from the EMA on Friday and the British pharma is making plans for a gradual rollout of the vaccine.

GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty

"We believe that there should be a thoughtful, staged roll-out of this vaccine, particularly because it is important that we acquire more knowledge about where it really works the best," said CEO Andrew Witty, as quoted by Reuters.

Because it's the first vaccine to be introduced in Africa without having been used in developed countries, experts need to build a bigger database on safety, Witty said.

While the EMA's positive opinion on the vaccine--known as RTS,S or Mosquirix--was a watershed in the fight against malaria, there are still more hoops to jump through. These include a WHO recommendation and support from governments and other payers to fund a vaccination scheme.

The WHO has committed to making a decision by the end of 2015 on whether and how to recommend the use of Mosquirix. According to the WHO, the vaccine will not be in use before 2017, Reuters reported.

While Mosquirix is not a perfect vaccine--it only confers partial protection and only for a few years, unlike other childhood vaccines such as the measles jab--Reuters sources said it was still likely to get WHO backing as the first malaria vaccine in history.

- read the Reuters story

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