WHO’s Malaria Vaccine Safety and Ethics Sparks Concerns in Cameroon and Nigeria

Date:

Calls for Transparency and Parental Consent Amid WHO’s Endorsement*

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In a recent development, heightened concerns surround the safety and ethical implications of the Malaria Vaccine, now part of routine immunization in Cameroon. The discussions extend to potential adoption in other African countries, including Nigeria, prompting a call for a precautionary approach to ensure safety and strict adherence to ethical standards, with a focus on parental informed consent.

Background:
The RTS,S malaria vaccine, developed in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline and funded by the Gates Foundation through the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, underwent extensive clinical studies in the early 2000s. Initial trials suggested a reduction in clinical malaria among children and infants, but recent data reveals a decline in vaccine efficacy over time.

Safety and Risks:
Recent clinical trial data links the malaria vaccine to increased risks, including elevated clinical malaria risk after four years, a tenfold increased risk of cerebral meningitis, an increased risk of cerebral malaria, and a higher risk of death, particularly among female children.

WHO’s Endorsement and Vaccine Safety:
The World Health Organization (WHO) endorsed RTS,S based on the initial two years of a four-year pilot study, raising concerns about transparency regarding vaccine safety. Notably, risks of cerebral malaria and female mortality became more apparent after the booster dose at 20 months, sparking questions about WHO’s study duration selection.

Concerns About Parental Consent:
A significant concern is the potential violation of the right to informed consent, as outlined in a 2014 WHO policy document. The “implied consent process” has raised questions about whether parents are adequately informed and have provided explicit consent for their children’s vaccination.

Call to Action:
Expressing deep concern, Nigerian citizens and stakeholders are urging the National Assembly to address these pressing concerns. The focus is particularly on WHO’s experimentation on African children without proper informed parental consent, posing potential threats to children’s health and fundamental human rights guaranteed under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

In a statement, Academician Prince Dr. Philip C. Njemanze MD (Hons), Chairman of the Global Prolife Alliance (GPA) for the Council on National Policies, emphasized the need for a thorough investigation and adherence to ethical standards in vaccine implementation.

Conclusion:
As these concerns gain attention, the public awaits the response from authorities to ensure the health and rights of the people of Nigeria and Cameroon. The issue underscores the delicate balance between public health initiatives and the ethical considerations surrounding vaccine safety and informed consent.

Copies of the concerns have been sent to various prominent figures, including HE President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, HE Vice President Senator Kashim Shettima, and heads of international organizations.

References:
1. Ally Olotu et al., “Four-Year Efficacy of RTS,S/AS01E and Its Interaction with Malaria Exposure,” New England Journal of Medicine, March 21, 2013.
2. Peter Aaby et al., “WHO’s rollout of malaria vaccine in Africa: can safety questions be answered after only 24 months?” BMJ, January 24, 2020.
3. Jeremy R. Hammond, “Fact Check: WHO Scientist Caught Lying to Public about Vaccine Safety,” Foreign Policy Journal, February 11, 2020.
4. World Health Organization, “Considerations regarding consent in vaccinating children and adolescents between 6 and 17 years old,” WHO.int, 2014.
5. Peter Doshi, “WHO’s malaria vaccine study represents a ‘serious breach of international ethical standards,'” The BMJ, February 26, 2020.
6. Jeremy R. Hammond, “How Public Vaccine Policy Violates Our Right to Informed Consent,” Foreign Policy Journal, April 27, 2019.

Adeniyi Ogunfowoke
Adeniyi Ogunfowokehttps://naija247news.com/
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