Malaria vaccine?

Medical trials in Africa have positive implications for potential vaccine

Preliminary testing of a malaria vaccine in Africa has promising implications for millions infected by the mosquito-borne illness.

Nearly 15,000 children in seven African countries have been participating in an early trial for the vaccine RTS,S, according to media sources. The results, which were announced at a forum at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, showed that roughly half of the 6,000 children studied were symptom-free in a 12-month period following vaccination. Cutting cases of malaria in half would be a significant milestone in treating the disease, which infects hundreds of millions a year and takes about a million lives.

The vaccine’s developers—GlaxoSmithKline and the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative—say a 30-month analysis will be complete at the end of 2014 if the results remain positive, the World Health Organization could give its approval by 2015.