The decision followed a review of a pilot program deployed since 2019 in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi, where more than two million doses were given of the vaccine, first made by the pharmaceutical company GSK in 1987.
Many vaccines exist against viruses and bacteria, but this was the first time that the WHO recommended the broad use of a vaccine against a human parasite.
"From a scientific perspective, this is a massive breakthrough," said Pedro Alonso, the WHO Global Malaria Program Director.
The vaccine acts against plasmodium falciparum -- one of five parasite species and the most deadly.
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