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SII ships its first set of R21/Matrix-M Malaria Vaccine doses to Africa

The initial shipment will be sent to the Central African Republic (CAR), followed by other African countries such as South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Serum Institute of India (SII), has shipped  its first set of R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine to Africa. The initial batch will be sent to the Central African Republic (CAR), with subsequent shipments planned for South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. In total, 1,63,800 doses have been allocated for the CAR region, out of which only 43,200 doses were dispatched from SII, on May 20, 2024. 

The R21//Matrix-M vaccine is the second malaria vaccine to be authorised for use in children in malaria-endemic regions. The vaccine received WHO recommendation for use in children last year in October, followed by the announcement of its high efficacy of its Phase 3 Trial data results this year.

The flag-off ceremony of the R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine took place at SII  facility in Pune. 

The ceremony was attended by the US delegates, including the Hon. Eric Garcetti, US Ambassador to India; Dr Mehreen Datoo, Associate Fellow, Clinical Lecturer in Infectious Diseases, Nuffield Department of Medicine University of Oxford; Silvia Taylor, Executive Vice President, Chief Corporate Affairs & Advocacy Officer, Novavax; and other guests., 

The R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine, developed through collaboration between the Jenner Institute at Oxford University and the Serum Institute of India leveraging by Novavax’s saponin-based adjuvant technology, received support from the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), the Wellcome Trust, and the European Investment Bank (EIB). Till date, Serum Institute of India has manufactured 25 million doses with a capacity to scale up to 100 million doses annually. 

“The development of the R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine represents a great step forward in our battle against this deadly parasite.The quality, affordable vaccines that will be produced through this partnership between Novavax and SII will prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths every year across the globe,” said Eric Garcetti, US Ambassador to India.

Dr Umesh Shaligram, Executive Director, R&D, Serum Institute of India said, “The shipment of the R21/Matrix-M Malaria Vaccine to Africa marks a momentous milestone in our collective fight against this life-threatening disease.”

 “The R21/Matrix-M vaccine is a vital new tool to help stop the devastating health and economic impact of malaria on nearly half of the world’s population, including the tragic loss of 1,300 children every single day,” said John C. Jacobs, President and Chief Executive Officer, Novavax. “

Professor Adrian Hill, Director of the Jenner Institute at Oxford University, said “The start of the distribution at large scale of this high efficacy, very cost-effective vaccine should mark a turning point in the battle against malaria. 

 

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