Malaria Vaccine 30 Years In The Making May Be Approved This Year


Malaria may not be much of a health threat in the Western world, but for over 100 countries it still remains a serious killer. Hopefully that road a malaria-free world will become a little more realistic this year as the first-ever malaria vaccine goes up for regulatory approval.

Known as RTS, the vaccine has been in the making for some 30 years and its maker, the drug company GlaxoSmithKline is now in the final trial stages according to Fast Company. While the drug doesn’t have a 100 percent success rate of eradicating the mosquito-borne disease, it has made a serious impact in its 11 clinical trial sites throughout Africa.

“The most recent data show that 18 months after receiving the vaccine, malaria cases dropped by 46% in children and 27% in babies.”

According to Robert Seder of the National Institutes of Health, the results are a solid indicator that making a vaccine that with the potential to wipe out the disease is entirely possible — maybe in as little as 10 years.

“As a proof of principle, we showed that the vaccine worked, and that it was highly effective,” said Seder.

One of the main hurdles in wiping out malaria is its resistance to drugs over time, as explained by David C. Kaslow, former director of the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative. “Sustaining indefinitely this kind of control is going to be really tough. If you haven’t eliminated it, it can come back with a vengeance.”

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