A new malaria vaccine showed up to 77% efficacy in a trial of 450 children in Burkina Faso, The Guardian reports.
It’s welcome news in the nearly century-long hunt for a vaccine to thwart the disease that kills 400,000 every year, mostly children under-5.
The vaccine, believed to be the first candidate to reach a WHO goal of at least 75% efficacy, was developed by the Oxford’s Jenner Institute and partners. Results of the Phase IIb randomized, controlled, double-blind trial are posted on SSRN/Preprints with The Lancet.
- Larger trials are being launched that will involve 4,800 children in 4 countries in Africa.
- And the Jenner Institute may seek emergency approval for the malaria vaccine.
“I’m making the argument as forcefully as I can, that because malaria kills a lot more people than Covid in Africa, you should think about emergency-use authorisation for a malaria vaccine for use in Africa” says Adrian Hill, director of the Institute.
Hill adds: “They did Covid in months – why shouldn’t they do malaria in a similar length of time as the health problem is an even greater scale in Africa?”
Well timed: The vaccine announcement comes in time for World Malaria Daycelebrated on Sunday.