The fight against malaria hit a major milestone last fall when the World Health Organization (WHO) authorized the world’s first malaria vaccine. Now, the vaccine rollout is ready for an expansion after receiving nearly $160 million in international support to spend over the next three years.

The WHO and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, are urging countries to apply for a share of the funding to support their malaria vaccine rollouts. So far, the vaccine, known as RTS,S, has been administered in three pilot countries — Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi. In these areas, there has been a “substantial drop” in child hospitalizations for malaria as well as a decline in child deaths, according to the WHO.

Despite these accomplishments, the malaria vaccine has attracted concerns around its evaluation process and efficacy rate. The WHO used an “implied consent” process in the vaccine rollout, meaning recipients were not informed they were participating in a study, a decision experts consider a “serious breach of international ethical standards.”

Nevertheless, the nearly $160 million in funding opens the door for more countries where malaria is endemic to protect their residents from the deadly disease. To learn more about the expanded rollout and its potential impact, Global Citizen interviewed Stephen Sosler, head of vaccine programs at Gavi.

Read the full article about Malaria vaccine expansion by Kristine Liao at Global Citizen.