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The news on ‘Malaria vaccine hailed as potential breakthrough’ is as reported by BBC. Malaria as described by WHO is caused by Plasmodium parasites. The parasites are spread to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes, called “malaria vectors.” There are 5 parasite species that cause the illness in humans, and 2 of these species – P. falciparum and P. vivax – pose the greatest threat.
The Reported Malaria Vaccine
The illness kills more than 400,000 people a year, mostly children in sub-Saharan Africa.
But despite many vaccines being trialled over the years, this is the first to meet the required target.
The researchers say this vaccine could have a major public health impact.
When trialled in 450 children in Burkina Faso, the vaccine was found to be safe, and showed “high-level efficacy” over 12 months of follow-up.
Larger trials in nearly 5,000 children between the ages of five months and three years will now be carried out across four African countries to confirm the findings.
Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through mosquito bites. Although preventable and curable, the World Health Organization estimates there were 229 million cases worldwide in 2019 and 409,000 deaths.
The illness starts with symptoms such as fever, headaches and chills and, without treatment, can progress quickly to severe illness and often death.
The trials of this malaria vaccine started in 2019, long before coronavirus appeared – and the Oxford team developed its Covid vaccine (with AstraZeneca) on the strength of its research into malaria, Prof Hill said.
“That’s a real technical challenge,” Prof Hill said. “The vast majority of vaccines haven’t worked because it’s very difficult.” said Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute and professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford.