Malawi is currently in negotiations for newly licensed and World Health Organizations (WHO) prequalified typhoid conjugate vaccines (TCVs) with Typbar-TCV which has longer lasting protection, fewer doses, and suitability for children under two years of age.
Speaking at the National meeting on typhoid burden and typhoid conjugate vaccines in Dowa, Typhoid Vaccine Acceleration Consortium (TyVAC) Researchers Aziza Mwisongo said the vaccine has a more immunogenic response to vaccination and has antibody levels that persist much longer than earlier typhoid vaccines.
TyVAC is a consortium of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Oxford University, and PATH and is facilitating countries with the application for and introduction of TCVs.
Mwisongo said through conjugation, TVCs are able to stimulate parts of the immune system that older typhoid vaccine cannot, thereby inducing a stronger, longer lasting immunity among a broader age range.
“Expanded use of TVCs through routine immunisation has the potential yo reduce the need for antibiotics, slow further emergency of drug-resistant typhoid strains and save lives,” She said while adding that the Vaccine has a substantial benefit in Malawi where typhoid inflicts a significant health burden.
The Global Burden of Disease (GBV) estimates that in 2006, Malawi had 16 144 cases or 90 cases per 100 000 population which 64 percent were among children under 14 with 227 death, 67 percent of which were children under 15.
Deputy Director in the Ministry of Health Dr Mathews Kagoli, while accepting that typhoid is common in Malawi, says the ongoing discussions will determine if the country needs the vaccines.
“Interns of importance, yes we need the vaccine. The discussions are ongoing and a decision will be made as a country if we need them,” he said.
He added, “Given the current developments, Malawi would like to use this opportunity to collate the different sources of data and to discuss several related aspects of typhoid to inform decisions with introduction of TCV.”
The Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, also supports its introduction in countries.