Oxford University’s Jenner Institute has recently confirmed success in trials for an effective vaccine against malaria.
The trial took place in Nanoro, a region in Burkina Faso, and involved 450 children between the ages of 5 and 17. The institute is the same one that trialled the recent AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
The vaccine’s efficacy has been shown to be 77%, superseding the World Health Organisation’s requirement of 75%. This is a huge step in the direction of eradication of malaria, particularly considering the last attempt at vaccine trials produced an efficacy of only between 24% and 43%. This result is hugely hopeful as 100s of vaccine candidates have been unsuccessful in reaching this target up until now.
Adrian Hill, Director of the Jenner Institute is planning to request emergency approval for the vaccine (just as was done with the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine), justified by the fact that malaria caused more deaths in Africa than Covid over the last year.
Malaria causes over 400,000 deaths a year, worldwide and infects over 220 million people. An effective vaccine is therefore likely to result in the end of a leading cause of child mortality, in turn leading to huge positive change in the places most affected by the deadly disease.
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