The number of malaria patients is about 230 million each year and the disease kills more than 400,000 people each year – mostly children. Until now, the search for an effective vaccine against the parasitic disease spread by mosquitoes has been in vain. Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it is recommending the approval of the Muscarix malaria vaccine developed by GlaxoSmithKline. Research on the vaccine began in 1987, and earlier this year it was shown to be 50 percent effective in preventing malaria infections in the first year of the third phase of clinical trials for children in three African countries.
Compared to the 5 percent efficacy of the mRNA Covid-1 vaccine, 50 percent may not look very good, but a 2020 modeling study estimated that the introduction of the vaccine with a high prevalence of the disease would result in 5.3 million cases and 2,000,000 deaths. Can be prevented annually.
“This is a historic moment. The long-awaited malaria vaccine for children is a milestone in science, child health and malaria control,” said WHO Director-General Dr. “Using this vaccine on top of existing equipment to prevent malaria can save the lives of thousands of young people every year.”
The malaria parasite enters the bloodstream of the host through mosquito bites. The vaccine prevents the parasite from infecting the liver, where it grows, and from where it re-enters the bloodstream, infecting red blood cells.
Even better news is that there are a number of promising malaria vaccines in development, including the mRNA version of the German company Biotech, which has developed a highly effective mRNA covid-1 vaccine in partnership with Pfizer. The company’s goal is to start clinical trials in 2022. Note that it took more than 300 years for Muskirix to develop. If the biotech vaccine works, it could be ready in less than 5 years.