Malaria vaccine efficacy, safety, and community perception in Africa: a scoping review of recent empirical studies

Muhammad Chutiyami, Priya Saravanakumar, Umar Muhammad Bello, Dauda Salihu, Khadijat Adeleye, Mustapha Adam Kolo, Kabiru Kasamu Dawa, Dathini Hamina, Pratibha Bhandari, Surajo Kamilu Sulaiman, Jenny Sim

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Aim: The review summarizes the recent empirical evidence on the efficacy, safety, and community perception of malaria vaccines in Africa.
Methods: Academic Search Complete, African Journals Online, CINAHL, Medline, PsychInfo, and two gray literature sources were searched in January 2023, and updated in June 2023. Relevant studies published from 2012 were included. Studies were screened, appraised, and synthesized in line with the review aim. Statistical results are presented as 95% Confidence Intervals and proportions/percentages.
Results: Sixty-six (N = 66) studies met the inclusion criteria. Of the vaccines identified, overall efficacy at 12 months was highest for the R21 vaccine (N = 3) at 77.0%, compared to the RTS,S vaccine (N = 15) at 55%. The efficacy of other vaccines was BK-SE36 (11.0–50.0%, N = 1), ChAd63/MVA ME-TRAP (− 4.7–19.4%, N = 2), FMP2.1/AS02A (7.6–9.9%, N = 1), GMZ2 (0.6–60.0%, N = 5), PfPZ (20.0–100.0%, N = 5), and PfSPZ-CVac (24.8–33.6%, N = 1). Injection site pain and fever were the most common adverse events (N = 26), while febrile convulsion (N = 8) was the most reported, vaccine-related Serious Adverse Event. Mixed perceptions of malaria vaccines were found in African communities (N = 17); awareness was generally low, ranging from 11% in Tanzania to 60% in Nigeria (N = 9), compared to willingness to accept the vaccines, which varied from 32.3% in Ethiopia to 96% in Sierra Leone (N = 15). Other issues include availability, logistics, and misconceptions.
Conclusion: Malaria vaccines protect against malaria infection in varying degrees, with severe side effects rarely occurring. Further research is required to improve vaccine efficacy and community involvement is needed to ensure successful widespread use in African communities.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
Early online date5 Mar 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Mar 2024


  • Africa
  • efficacy
  • malaria vaccine
  • perception
  • safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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