Malaria Vaccine Is Being Praised As A Possible Game-Changer

According to its creators from the University of Oxford, a malaria vaccine has shown to be 77 percent effective in early trials and maybe a significant advance in the fight against the disease.

Malaria Vaccine Is Being Praised As A Possible Game-Changer

Malaria kills over 400,000 people in Sub-Saharan Africa per year, the majority of which are kids.

Malaria Vaccine Is Being Praised As A Possible Game-Changer

Despite the fact that multiple vaccines have been tested over the years, none have met the effectiveness criteria set by the WHO.

The vaccine, according to the experts, may have a significant public health impact.

The vaccine was shown to be effective in 450 children in Burkina Faso, and it demonstrated “high-level effectiveness” over a 12-month period of follow-up.

To verify the results, larger studies involving about 5,000 children aged five months to three years will be conducted in four African countries.

Malaria is a serious disease caused by parasitic algae called Plasmodium that is spread by mosquito bites. Despite the fact that it is preventable and curable, the World Health Organization reports that there were 229 million cases and 409,000 fatalities all throughout the world in 2019. 

Fever, fatigue, and chills are common signs of the disease, which can easily lead to serious illness and death if not treated.

Adrian Hill, co-author of the study and director of the Jenner Institute and professor of vaccinology at the Oxford university, believes the vaccine is the first to achieve the World Health Organization’s target of at least 75% effectiveness.

In testings on African children, the most successful malaria vaccine by far had only demonstrated a 55 percent effectiveness rate.

The experiments for this malaria vaccine began in 2019, well before coronavirus was discovered, and the Oxford team formulated its corona virus vaccine based on its malaria experiments, according to Prof Hill.

He explained that a malaria vaccine took even longer to develop because malaria has thousands of genes opposed to just a dozen in coronavirus, and fighting the disease requires a strong immune response.

He said, “That’s a big technical challenge.” “Because it’s so complex, the vast majority of vaccinations haven’t succeeded.”

Prof Hill, on the other hand, also believes that the trial findings indicate that the vaccine “has the capacity to have a significant public health impact.”

The team of researchers – from Oxford, Nanoro in Burkina Faso, and the United States – published the trial results of R21/Matrix-M in a pre-print analysis with The Lancet, which measured a low and high dose of the antibody between May and August, just prior to peak malaria season.

In the higher-dose group, the vaccine had a 77 percent effectiveness rate, and in the lower-dose group, it had a 71 percent effectiveness rate.

The findings were “very surprising” and demonstrated “unprecedented effectiveness levels,” according to Halidou Tinto, professor of parasitology and chief trial researcher at the Clinical Research Unit of Nanoro, Burkina Faso.

“We eagerly anticipate the forthcoming ‘phase III’ trial, which will include large-scale safety and efficacy evidence for a vaccine that is desperately needed in this area.”

The vaccine’s manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India, claims it will be able to produce more than 200 million doses of the vaccine once it has been authorized by authorities.

The vaccine’s adjuvant was given by Novavax.

Malaria has been one of the primary causes of childhood mortality in Africa, and the latest data suggested that a new malaria vaccine might be approved “in the coming years,” according to Prof Charlemagne Ou√©draogo, Burkina Faso’s minister of health.

“That will be a game-changing new method for combating malaria and potentially saving a lot of lives.”

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