Appropriate data and information are required for evidence-based decisions on vaccine introduction.
Countries bearing the burden of malaria would need to weigh multiple factors to better understand a malaria vaccine’s potential impact at the country level, including the following:
- National malaria disease burden.
- The vaccine’s potential role in the context of current malaria control measures.
- The feasibility of implementing the vaccine.
- The likely cost-effectiveness and affordability of the vaccine.
- How the vaccine would be integrated into existing health services.
- Community perceptions of the vaccine.
Countries would need an effective process and adequate time to gather the necessary data and information to inform malaria vaccine decisions. In the case of the RTS,S malaria vaccine candidate, some countries have employed a step-wise process to gather the required evidence. For example, countries may:
- Set up independent malaria vaccine technical working groups that involve stakeholders from malaria, immunization, finance, and other fields.
- Develop malaria vaccine decision-making frameworks—planning tools to map the data and processes required and the timeline for possible vaccine availability.
- Compile, review, and analyze the data and information.
- Develop technical briefs—independent reviews of the evidence—for submission to country decision-makers.
PATH’s role: technical partnership
PATH's role has included generating and providing some of the data and evidence needed to help determine the optimal use of a malaria vaccine in the context of other malaria interventions. This has meant working with partners to generate and provide country-level decision-makers with clinical trial data, sociocultural data, public health impact estimates, and other health economic findings.
In addition, PATH has worked to strengthen country capacity by providing technical and some financial support for the compilation and review of technical data and information.