The fight against malaria has received another breakthrough after scientists at Oxford University developed a cheaper vaccine that can be manufactured at a greater scale.
The new vaccine can offer protection for two years and has been referred to as a ‘game changer in the fight against the disease.
Malaria remains one of the top 10 causes of death in Tanzania and a leading killer of children under the age of five. The Lancet Infectious Disease journal has published trial results from 409 children in Nanoro, Burkina Faso, showing the vaccine can give up to 80 per cent protection.
“We think these data are the best data yet in the field with any malaria vaccine,” said Prof Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute at the university.
The Oxford team will start getting approvals for the vaccine, with the final decision pegged on the results of a larger trial sampling 4,800 children planned before the end of the year. The world’s largest vaccine manufacturer – the Serum Institute of India – is already lined up to make more than 100 million doses yearly.