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Many media sources, including Argentina’s Clarín newspaper, reported in July that the vaccine had “been approved”, when in fact it had only received a “positive scientific opinion” from a European Medicines Agency commission.

Contrary to excited media reports, GSK’s long-awaited malaria vaccine Mosquirix still faces a long process and significant hurdles before it can be rolled out to protect babies in Africa.

Many media sources, including Argentina’s Clarín newspaper, reported in July that the vaccine had “been approved”, when in fact it had only received a “positive scientific opinion” from a European Medicines Agency commission. Given that the vaccine is intended for use in Africa, it is African governments, funders, and the World Health Organization that must finally “approve” it. The “positive opinion” of the European Union is unnecessary, although it does give the drug momentum to face future hurdles.

If it gains approval, Mosquirix will be the first vaccine against malaria, but it is currently not expected to be rolled out until 2017.

Media sources also highlighted Mosquirix’s potential to protect against hepatitis B thanks to one of its ingredients, however the EMA highlighted that it should not be used as a prevention against hepatitis B in countries where malaria is not present. The vaccine is intended for use with young children in countries where malaria is prevalent.

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