Malaria Vaccine Finally!
Doctor's age long quest for a malaria vaccine has finally paid off as health officials in Europe on Friday, approved the world's first vaccine for malaria.
The ancient scourge spread by mosquitoes sickened nearly 200 million people in 2013, killing about 600,000 -- mostly in Africa.
The malaria parasite which is carried by mosquitoes can persist in the human body for years. It is harder to make a vaccine against a parasite as compared to a virus or bacteria, because the parasite has a complicated life cycle that takes it from the blood to the liver and back again.
According to Slaoui, the vaccine is only about 30 percent effective, but with malaria so rampant, it could be a game-changer, preventing hundreds of thousands of deaths each year.
Dr. Slaoui has been working on the vaccine for 27 years, and it was really emotional for him to hear that it had been approved.
GlaxoSmithKline worked with the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative to develop the vaccine, which was called RTS,S when it was experimental but which now has the brand name Mosquirix. The European Medicines Agency has OK'd it for use in children 6 weeks to 17 months old.
Ref: CBS news, NBC news
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