World's first malaria vaccine approved for use on children in Africa

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sun, 10 Oct 2021, 11:45AM
Malaria is mainly transmitted by mosquitoes (Image / Getty Images)
Malaria is mainly transmitted by mosquitoes (Image / Getty Images)

World's first malaria vaccine approved for use on children in Africa

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sun, 10 Oct 2021, 11:45AM

Some incredible science news this week with the world's first malaria vaccine approved for use on children in Africa.

It's the first vaccine ever developed against a parasitic human disease. 

The RTS,S vaccine, also known as Mosquirix, has been administered to more than 800,000 children in a pilot in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi since 2019. 

It's not perfect and in efficacy results from a 4-year trial found it prevents only 39% of malaria cases and 29% of severe malaria cases among small children in Africa. 

However when combined with antimalarial drugs there was a 70% reduction in hospitalisation or death in the children. Those results have just been published in the Journal of New England Medicine.

There is still the challenge of funding to come - GSK have promised to sell this at cost +5% which is a huge discount, but as Malaria is rife in incredibly poor countries, it's still unknown how the purchase and distribution will be funded. 

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