Malaria is one of the mosquito-spread diseases that plagues developing countries. While it’s already been eradicated in most parts of the world, it still kills more than 600,000 people a year in Africa. A recent Freethink* article discussed a vaccine that aims to change that. The vaccine was developed at the University of Oxford, and when combined with a booster dose, it demonstrated up to 80% efficacy in children during a long term trial, which is significant since roughly half of malaria deaths are children under five years old.
There is currently only one approved malaria vaccine; it’s made by GSK, but it’s only 40% effective. GSK is only committed to supplying 15 million doses each year, but Africa sees about 25 million births a year, and each child needs multiple doses. Oxford reported that its vaccine is up to 77% effective at preventing clinical malaria over the course of a year, which makes it the first of its kind to hit the World Health Organization’s 75% efficacy goal. If approved, the Serum Institute of India is ready to manufacture 200 million doses a year starting in 2023.