After decades of research, a malaria vaccine has been approved.
According to the New York Times, the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) endorsed the vaccine, which was created by GlaxoSmithKline. Dr. Pedro Alonso, director of the W.H.O.’s global malaria program, said in an Oct. 6 statement, “It’s a huge jump from the science perspective to have a first-generation vaccine against a human parasite.”
The W.H.O. also reports that in large-scale clinical trials, the vaccine prevented around 4 in 10 cases of malaria within four years for children who received the four doses, which is a 39% efficacy. According to the BBC, over 260,000 children died from malaria in 2019.
Additionally, the vaccine prevented 3 in 10 cases of severe malaria, which is a 29% efficacy The WHO has recommended the vaccine be piloted in parts of Ghana, Kenya and Malawi.
In 2019, as many as 227 million people were sickened with malaria and over 400,000 died, the bulk of whom were children, according to the World Health Organization. The disease is caused by parasites that are transmitted by infected mosquitoes.