Scientists are on the verge of a major breakthrough in developing a vaccine which can cure malaria. The results from the first clinical trial taken in Africa have revealed that once an infant is given the vaccine their chances of getting malaria is reduced by 50% compared to those who did not get the vaccine.
Known as ‘RTS, S’ is just one of two malaria vaccines being experimented around the world. The vaccine which targets the malaria parasite which is found in sub-Saharan Africa is still 3 years away during which time the vaccine has the potential to become much more successful.
Another positive which has been revealed by the company who have developed the vaccine, GlaxoSmithKline, have said that medicine will be sold at cost price and they will not take any profit from selling the vaccine.
The trial in Africa was carried out in seven of its countries on two groups of new born children, these were babies aged 6-12 weeks and 5-17 months.
Looking at the impact the drug has had after one year, figures show that there were roughly half the number of cases of malaria in the older group of children who were given the malaria vaccine. The comparison was made with a controlled group who were receiving vaccines for against other illnesses.
The team involved was very international with many scientists in Africa and also the United States and Europe all involved.
“Vaccine can have an affect against malaria”
Data has shown that almost every year approximately 225 million people get malaria and the parasite causes almost 800,000 deaths and this is figures regarding African children.
Bill Gates, who’s foundation bank rolled the trial, was excited and said: “I want to congratulate the large number of partners who have been working on this project for decades. It is phenomenal that we have shown that a vaccine can have an affect against malaria.”