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In this regular feature on Breakthroughs, we highlight some of the most interesting reads in global health research from the past week.

May 1, 2023 by Hannah Sachs-Wetstone

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In June, South Sudan is expecting to begin the rollout of the preventive malaria intervention seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC), although there are concerns that high parasite resistance in eastern and southern African countries will limit its long-term efficacy. In June 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) updated its recommendations that previously restricted SMC’s use to the Sahel region, where malaria transmission is highly seasonal, to encourage its use in other regions after pilot studies showed positive results in countries with high resistance, including South Sudan. Experts have emphasized the need for rigorous monitoring and evaluation to assess SMC’s efficacy in areas of high resistance and to detect any parasite resistance in the Sahel, as well as the development of alternative tools and drugs for malaria chemoprevention.

Last week, the European Medicines Agency recommended authorization of GSK’s Arezvy vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in adults 60 years of age and older, which if approved, will be the world’s first available vaccine for RSV. Regulatory agencies in the United Kingdom and United States are expected to make decisions on GSK’s vaccine in the coming months. Pfizer and Moderna are also developing vaccines for the virus, with Pfizer’s candidate already having gained the backing of a panel of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisors earlier this year.

Bavarian Nordic, the maker of the Jynneos vaccine, which is approved by the FDA to protect against both smallpox and mpox, is planning to dramatically scale up production capacity for their vaccine. The company’s CEO connected the move to the rapid spread of mpox last year, which highlighted the need to be able to manufacture at a much greater scale than currently available: from tens of millions to hundreds of millions of doses. Bavarian Nordic plans to simplify its production process to facilitate partnerships with other manufacturers in order to have adequate production capacity for stockpiling and in case of a future emergency.

About the author

Hannah Sachs-WetstoneGHTC

Hannah supports advocacy and communications activities and member coordination for GHTC. Her role includes developing and disseminating digital communications, tracking member and policy news, engaging coalition members, and organizing meetings and events.Prior to joining GHTC, more about this author