Malarial protection for more than a year? Inject children with malaria jab
The malaria vaccine works for about a year , folks ! The researchers had been working hard, researching an experimental malaria vaccine that offers adequate protection against the deadly parasite. The company , GlaxoSmithKline, plans to make the vaccine commercially viable as it shows that it is capable for providing protection to children against malaria.
The vaccine trials
The trials were being carried out on the malaria vaccine, called RTS,S, and the results were announced by studying results of a huge sample of about 15000 children who were at 11 different sites in nearly seven African countries. Results show that the vaccine cut down the number of malaria cases by almost half in a span of one and a half year.
This is said to be the longest trial and the researchers hope that they can put world’s first vaccine for malaria for approval by 2015 and they plan to introduce it for use by 2016.
Talking about this endeavor David Kaslow, VP of product development at the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, states that “It’s on that trajectory, and the plan is to file with the European Medicines Agency in 2014.”
The researchers have been struggling for years and years to come out with a vaccine against the dreaded malarial parasite but haven’t gained any success till now. This vaccine has shown a convincing protection in children and infants against the malarial parasite that spreads with a mosquito bite.
But after 18 months of the trial the efficiency of the malaria vaccine has fallen a bit and the researchers feel that the children may need a booster dose to protect them from malaria.
According to Kaslow, this was expected and “Efficacy wanes for most vaccines, which is why, for example, we give booster shots for tetanus.” The researchers are still at it and Brian Greenwood of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine confirmed that “One-third of the children in the trial have now received a booster dose, so we’ll learn in the next year if this protects the children for a further period.”
Malaria is deadly and kills almost 660,000 people annually and the most effected people are the poor children who live in the sub-Saharan Africa. The experts feel that there is no other option but to eliminate malaria.
Presenting the details at a conference in Durban on Tuesday, the researchers said that the children in the older age bracket will be a part of the follow up study carried out for a period of 41 months and GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of RTS,S vaccine have decided to sent it for acceptance.
Andrew Witty, CEO of GSK says “While we’ve seen some decline in vaccine efficacy over time, the sheer number of children affected by malaria means that the number of cases of the disease the vaccine can help prevent is impressive.”