The world’s first malaria vaccine is on track to become a reality in 2018, when a pilot project will test the new vaccine in selected countries in southern Africa.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the new vaccine is a milestone in the struggle against the mosquito-borne disease which causes more than 400,000 annual deaths. Of these, 90 percent take place in southern Africa.
“Even though the world has already come a long way in the battle against malaria, an effective vaccine would be a significant contribution to eradication of this illness, especially in those African countries where malaria is most prevalent. It is crucial to find new tools in the campaign against the disease in the near future, so that we do not lose the benefits of the progress already made as the disease develops resistance to existing medicine,” explains Flemming Konradsen, professor of Global Health at the Department of Public Health at the University of Copenhagen.
The pilot study is the fourth and last phase in the development of the vaccine called Mosquirix, which has been developed by the medical company GlaxoSmithKline in cooperation with the international PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The vaccine has proven partially effective at preventing malaria in infants, who are the age group most vulnerable to the disease.Read article ->