A recent New York Times article reported that the first malaria vaccine has been approved by the World Health Organization. Malaria is one of the oldest and most deadly infectious diseases. It accounts for roughly half a million deaths worldwide each year, nearly all of which are in sub-Saharan Africa, and mosty children under the age of 5.
The new vaccine, Mosquirix, was developed by GlaxoSmithKline, and focuses on Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest and most prevalent of the five malaria pathogens in Africa. Not only is it the first vaccine for malaria, it’s also the first vaccine The W.H.O.’s recent endorsement should spark wider distribution of the vaccine in poor countries.