650,000 African children given malaria jab: WHO
Global advisory bodies for immunisation and malaria are expected to convene in October to review data on the vaccine and consider whether to recommend using it more widely.
Progress against malaria has been stalling for a number of years.
The annual report, published in November, said that after steadily tumbling from 736,000 in 2000, the disease claimed an estimated 411,000 lives in 2018 and 409,000 in 2019.
Meanwhile in 2019 the global tally of malaria cases was estimated at 229 million -- a figure that has been at the same level for the past four years.
The WHO said clinical testing had demonstrated that the RTS,S vaccine, when given in four doses, prevented four in 10 cases of malaria, and three in 10 cases of life-threatening severe malaria, over a four-year period.
"Ghana, Kenya and Malawi show that existing childhood vaccination platforms can effectively deliver the malaria vaccine to children, some of whom have not been able to access an insecticide treated bed net or other malaria prevention measures," said Kate O'Brien, the WHO's immunisation chief.
"This vaccine may be key to making malaria prevention more equitable, and to saving more lives."