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

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs