News / Health

Malaria Vaccine Shows Acceptable Safety, Efficacy Results

An international health alliance working to develop a vaccine against malaria says one of its most advanced vaccines, called RTS,S, shows promising results.  After two years of human clinical trials in Africa, the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative and its collaborators report the vaccine provides protection against malaria for children aged five to 17 months.

Scientists working on the world’s first-ever malaria vaccine are calling the RTS,S trials a significant milestone.

“For 40 years people have been trying to develop malaria vaccine and here we are,” said Dr. Christian Loucq, the director of Malaria Vaccine Initiative, which is an international non-profit group involved in assessing the safety and effectiveness of the new vaccine.  Thousands of children in seven countries in Africa received the vaccine. Investigators found that in vaccinated children, the risk of severe and clinical malaria was reduced by half.

“Phase Three is where you look into efficacy and safety for which we had consistent results and we are very happy and encouraged to move on,” said Dr. Daniel Ansong, a pediatrician and researcher at one of the clinical-trial sites in Ghana.

Dr. Ansong believes the vaccine will be a valuable new weapon in the global war on malaria.

Critics note that in the field trials, the new vaccine was only 47 percent effective against severe malaria, a level of protection they say should be higher. But pediatricians say that with malaria killing 800,000 children every year, even this level of efficacy could save thousands of lives.

Dr. Joe Cohen is co-inventor of the RTS,S vaccine and a researcher at the drug companty GlaxoSmith-line. It has invested $300 million in malaria vaccine development.

Cohen says developing a vaccine against malaria has been a major scientific challenge. “The problem, I think, is the parasite itself. Malaria parasite - parasites in general - very complex organisms, with complex DNA makeup with many thousands of genes, in contrast to bacteria or viruse,” he said.

GlaxoSmith-Kline says it expects to invest an additional $50 to 100 million in the vaccine program.  Researchers say they will start testing the vaccine on larger populations after the successful completion of ongoing Phase Three trials.

The developers plan to submit the final results of the vaccine trials to the World Health Organization by 2014.  Their hope is that the WHO will recommend that the malaria vaccine become a routine part of all future childhood immunization programs.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid