A Malaria Vaccine That Prevented Hundreds Of Cases Of Sickness During Experiment
For years medical researcher have been working on ways to reduce malaria’s prevalence, so far their efforts have given little fruits. In the form of mosquito repellants, drugs, and genetic engineering of mosquitoes to prevent the spread of the pathogens, they host within them. All these efforts have given little to no fruits.
However a new anti-malarial vaccine, published in last week’s The Lancet, is said to have undergone numerous medical tests on thousands of infants and children. Showing very promising results in terms of preventing cases of malaria sickness in the subjects that took part in the experiment.
The researchers who came up with the drug vaccine enrolled about 15,000 children aged six weeks to 17 months old, among whom were already infected with malaria. All the children were from seven countries across the sub-Saharan Africa. The vaccine was administered to each child every month over three months. After which another group was given a booster vaccine after 18 months. After the first year, 50 percent of the trial groups had fewer cases of malaria with regards to the projected numbers. Three years later, 36 percent of the children who had been given booster shot had never reported being sick from malaria.
The researchers say that although the vaccine is not 100 percent effective, it is the most promising vaccine we currently have.
Mike Turner, an Infection Specialist at Welcome Trust, while talking to the BBC said, “While the levels of protection the vaccine offers against clinical malaria may seem relatively low, they are better than any other potential vaccine we currently have. The findings are not only important in their own right but also in signposting a road to developing better vaccines in the future.”
The European Medicines Agency (Europe’s equivalent of USA’s FDA) is set to evaluate the vaccine. If it decides favorably, the vaccine could by in circulation by October, 2015 under the World Health Organization.
How We Could Have A World Without Malaria [Infographic] by the team at Work The World