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R21/Matrix-M vaccine

2023 OCT 5

Preliminary   > Science and Technology   >   Biotechnology   >   Diseases

Why in news?

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended a new vaccine named R21/Matrix-M for the prevention of malaria in children.

About R21/Matrix-M vaccine

  • R21/Matrix-M is a Malaria Vaccine developed by Jenner Institute at Oxford University and the Serum Institute of Indiawith support from the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), the Wellcome Trust, and the European Investment Bank (EIB).
  • The vaccine contains R21 antigen developed by University of Oxford, specific to the malaria parasite, and Novavax’s Matrix-M, a saponin-based adjuvant that enhances the immune response, making it broader and more durable.
  • The R21 vaccine is the second malaria vaccine recommended by WHO, following the RTS, S/AS01 vaccine, which received a WHO recommendation in 2021.

About Adjuvant

  • An adjuvant is an ingredient in a vaccine that enhances the immune system’s response to that vaccine. Adjuvants help the immune system better recognize what’s in a vaccine and remember it longer, increasing the amount of time that a vaccine may offer protection.
  • Matrix-M adjuvant is derived from saponins, naturally occurring compounds found in the bark of the Quillaja saponaria tree in Chile. Saponins have a history of medicinal use.



Consider the following statements regarding R21/Matrix-M vaccine:

  1. It uses vaccine adjuvant technology to improve the efficacy of the vaccine.
  2. It is only the first malaria vaccine to be recommended by WHO.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2