First malaria vaccine to reach WHO goal
The first malaria vaccine to show more than 75% efficacy, a World Health Organization specified goal, has been developed by scientists at the University of Oxford, according to a study published in The Lancet journal. The shot against the mosquito-borne disease was trialed in 450 children ages five to 17 months in Burkina Faso and shows a “favorable safety profile and was well-tolerated,” according to the team at the university’s Jenner Institute.
- Finding more effective vaccines has been a critical goal in fighting a disease that kills about 400,000 people a year, largely in sub-Saharan Africa, with most being children under the age of five.
- The candidate, called R21, is 77% effective against malaria, according to the study, which hasn’t been peer-reviewed.
- The Serum Institute of India, which is also manufacturing the Oxford-AstraZeneca Plc shot against Covid-19, has agreed to make the malaria vaccine once approved.
- The vaccine will next start broad clinical trials in 4,800 children across four African countries.