Sierra leone and three other African countries are set to receive 1.7 million doses of the Mosquirix malaria vaccine manufactured by British drugmaker GSK Plc in few weeks time, according to the global vaccine alliance GAVI.

The announcement was made in a joint statement with WHO and UNICEF, which came after a batch of 331,200 doses of the vaccine were allocated to Cameroon in late November.

The roll out is a critical step forward in the fight against one of the leading causes of death on the continent.

Cameroon was the first African country to receive the vaccine after pilot programmes in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi.

According to GAVI,ย  the 1.7 million doses of the vaccine, also known as RTS,S vaccine are expected to arrive in Burkina Faso, Liberia, Niger and Sierra Leone in the coming weeks.

Other African countries are set to receive similar doses over the next few months.

Malaria remains one of Africa’s deadliest diseases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), killing nearly half a million children under the age of five.

According to WHO a second malaria vaccine developed by Britain’s University of Oxford, R21/Matrix-M, will also be available by mid-2024.