Malaria Vaccine Candidate Gives Disappointing Results

Source: New York Times | Page: A5

By: McNeil, Donald G.


Three shots of GlaxoSmithKline’s malaria vaccine candidate—known as RTS, S, or Mosquirix—offered only 31 percent protection against detectable malaria among babies fewer than 12 weeks old. For severe malaria, that protection was 37 percent. A previous trial in children up to 17 months old found that the same vaccine gave 55 percent protection against detectable malaria and 47 percent against severe malaria. Despite these results, researchers intend to continue research on this vaccine, since even an inefficient vaccine can save lives. Moncef Slaoui, chairman of research and development at Glaxo, said that “if a million babies were vaccinated, we would prevent 260,000 cases of malaria a year. This is a disease that kills 655,000 babies a year—31 percent of that is a very large number.”

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