What is the Malaria Vaccine Decision-Making Framework?
The decision-making framework is a strategic planning tool to aid in decisions related to malaria vaccine introduction in African countries’ health systems. The planning tool was developed through a collaborative process involving several African countries and their international partners.

How would the planning tool facilitate decisions around malaria vaccines?
The decision-making framework details timelines, the key data that decision-makers would need, and the processes that need to be in place in order to make informed decisions on the appropriate use of a malaria vaccine, as soon as the first one is available.

Why is there a need for this kind of planning tool?
The main issue that this tool addresses is the unfortunate delay that has existed between the availability of a life-saving intervention—such as a vaccine—and its actual use in Africa and other developing regions. A lack of appropriate information and clear processes has contributed to these delays. The framework helps countries and their partners to begin to lay the groundwork now for decisions on vaccine adoption.

How would the planning tool help to address the time lag between vaccine availability and use?
If countries apply the decision-making framework, policymakers would have the data to determine—within three years of a malaria vaccine being licensed—the appropriate role for the vaccine in their national health systems.

What kind of data would countries need in order to decide on vaccine use?
Countries have identified a range of critical information needs, including the national malaria disease burden, the impact of other malaria tools, the quality and safety of a future vaccine, and the perceptions in local communities of a possible malaria vaccine.

Why is there a need to begin planning for decisions on malaria vaccine use?
The world has never been closer to having a malaria vaccine. Many candidate vaccines are moving through the development process, and 20 of these are in clinical trials, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). View the WHO “Tables of Malaria Vaccine Projects Globally.”

The vaccine candidate that is furthest along is still under clinical investigation. However, if the required public health information, including safety and efficacy data from the ongoing Phase 3 trial, is deemed satisfactory, the WHO has indicated that a policy recommendation for the vaccine candidate is possible as early as 2015, paving the way for decisions by African nations regarding its implementation. Visit the WHO Initiative for Vaccine Research site.

Who should use the planning tool for malaria vaccine decisions?
The framework can be used by African governments in collaboration with their partners at the national, regional, and global levels. Those involved in the planning process include ministries of health, policy, finance, and planning, as well as international organizations, malaria vaccine scientists, and donors.

Additional resources:
World Malaria Report 2011: Fact sheet
Questions and Answers on Malaria Vaccines (World Health Organization)