In August 2021, MedAccess, GSK and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance announced a unique financing partnership to support the continued production of antigen for the RTS,S/AS01e malaria vaccine ahead of key policy and funding decisions.
The partnership is comprised of two agreements. One between Gavi and GSK and one between Gavi and MedAccess.
Through this partnership, GSK’s continued production of RTS,S antigen would enable Gavi to make the finished vaccine available to countries much more quickly that would otherwise have been possible if production had been halted and restarted following a decision.
Photo:Mothers line-up and wait for their children to receive the malaria vaccine, Mkaka Primary School Outreach, Malawi. Credit: PATH
All development impact estimates are dependent on the exact timing WHO’s policy decision and Gavi’s funding decision. We projected impact across various timelines between 2021 and 2028 to ensure we captured the full range of potential impact.
Lives changed: inputs used to estimate expected additional children vaccinated through the accelerated access to RTS’S include: timing of key policy and funding decisions, expected production schedules, and projected demand following a Gavi decision. Deaths and cases averted are estimated using modelling published by Penny et al. in 2016 and assume available vaccine doses will be used to fully vaccinate fewer children rather than partially vaccinate a greater number.
Money saved: impact is estimated based on the additional costs associated with a stop-and-start production scenario, which was used to calculate an average price per dose for projected doses purchased between 2021 and 2028 across various timelines.
Markets shaped: we work with partners, including donors, procurers and ministries of health, to track changes in health markets where our investments are supporting access to products. We monitor for changes to policy, procurement practices and supplier movement, all of which affect markets and contribute to the long-term sustainability of impact.
Malaria kills more than 400,000 people a year worldwide and causes illness in tens of millions more, with most deaths occurring among young children living in sub-Saharan Africa. Although existing interventions have helped to reduce malaria deaths significantly over the past 15 years, a vaccine could add an important complementary tool for malaria control efforts.
Vaccine development is expensive and risky. The RTS,S/AS01e vaccine was developed by GSK over more than three decades, costing hundreds of millions of dollars. Following the vaccine’s approval, the risk shifted from development to deployment. There is no market for RTS,S/AS01e in high-income countries and it is unlikely that low-resource settings would generate enough demand to make long-term production viable. If production had been halted awaiting of policy and funding decisions, millions of children may not have received the vaccine while production was restarted and scaled up. Our innovative financing partnership has reduced the risks for all parties and enabled continued production of the vaccine antigen.