World's first malaria vaccine to be approved in 2015

Test results from malaria vaccines bring good news to the global population suffering from the disease. It knows that transmission occurs through mosquito bites and infects more than 200 million people a year, with 660, 000 dying and most of them children.

The drug should be presented by next year and, if approved by the European Medicines Agency in 2015, the first malaria vaccine ever developed in the world could be used in 2016, explains David Kaslow, vice president of product development at PATH Malaria. Vaccine Initiative, which supports the development of the drug by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

For now, the novelty has been named “RTS, S” and has been tested on 15, 000 children in 11 different locations across Africa. The experiments were performed with babies up to 12 weeks and children up to 17 months. In addition to using the vaccine, test subjects followed precautions that prevent contact with mosquitoes, such as screened sleeping, for example.

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The first results

In tests conducted so far, the researchers note that even after 18 months the drug continues to have a great effect on the body of children up to 17 months.

One year after the start of the tests, it was already possible to see a 56% decrease in malaria cases among children and 31% fewer occurrences with babies. Meanwhile, the numbers collected one and a half years after the start of vaccine administration show a drop of 46% of cases among children and 27% among babies.

"Even though the effectiveness of the vaccine has declined over time, the gross number of children affected by malaria suggests that the number of cases of the disease that the vaccine could prevent is impressive, " Andrew Witty, GSK Executive Director told New Scientist