Kenya is among the three countries that have been chosen on a large scale pilot to test the malaria vaccine.
The malaria vaccine, which is scientifically known as RTS,S and the trade name Mosquirix, has been rolled out in Malawi with Kenya and Ghana expected to follow suit next week.
The three countries were chosen because they already have huge programmes to counter malaria, yet malaria is still rampant.
The effectiveness of the Mosquirix vaccine will be tested on 120, 000 children from two years and below. It will be given in 4 doses – one dose every month for three months, then the last one 18 months later.
The malaria vaccine has already been tested on 15, 000 people in smaller clinical trials in 7 countries. The clinical trials which took place in a span of five years revealed that malaria cases had reduced by 40 per cent mostly among 5 to 7 month old.
Developed by British Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline in partnership with the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, Mosquirix is the first malaria vaccine to provide protection to children.
“The nearly 40% efficacy is not high in comparison with vaccines for other diseases, but the World Health Organization (WHO) says Mosquirix will add to the preventative measures, such as bed nets and insecticides, already being used,” AFP News Agency reported.