First Ever Malaria Vaccine Approved by W.H.O
Good news! A new Malaria vaccine created by GlaxoSmith Kline has just been approved by the World Health Organization, a move which will lead to mass distribution in poor countries most vulnerable to the pathogens responsible.
Each year it is estimated that Malaria kills 500,000 people, more than half of that number are children under 5 years old. A staggering majority of these cases are presented in poor or developing countries - with only 2000 Malaria cases in the US last year. The vaccine, aptly named Mosquirix, hopes to dampen those figures by attacking the parasite responsible for the disease.
The difficulty in developing a Malria vaccine has to do with the nature of the disease itself. It is not caused by a virus or bacteria - something that we have a lot of experience treating and killing. It instead caused by 5 different pathogens, Plasmodium falciparum being the deadliest and also the target of the new vaccine. Mosquirix is the first ever vaccine that targets a parasite and has been in development since the 1980s. Early trials suggest it could save tens of thousands of lives each year.
Source: NY Times