Promising results for a new malaria vaccine


A booster dose of a new malaria vaccine ensures a high level of protection against the disease is maintained, raising hopes that this low-cost vaccine could be mass produced within a few years, researchers said Thursday.
The international research team said, in the journal “The Lancet Invictus Diseases”, that this vaccine, developed by scientists at Oxford University, could represent a turning point in the fight against the disease.
Malaria, a parasitic disease transmitted by mosquitoes, killed 627,000 people, mostly African children, in 2020 alone.
Last year, another vaccine, produced by British pharmaceutical giant GSK, became the first malaria vaccine recommended for widespread use by the World Health Organization. It has since been introduced to over a million children in Africa.
But research has shown that the effectiveness of the GSK vaccine is about 60% and drops dramatically over time, even with a booster dose.
The Oxford R21/Matrix-M vaccine was found to be 77% effective in preventing malaria, according to a study published last year. This is the first time that the vaccine has exceeded the 75% efficacy target set by the World Health Organization.

“More efficient” –
For the study, 450 children aged 5 to 17 months in Burkina Faso, where malaria accounts for about 22% of all deaths, received three doses in 2019.
The children were divided into three groups: two of them received different doses of adjuvant Matrix-M, a vaccine ingredient patented by Novavax and also used in the US biotech company’s Covid vaccine; The third control group received a rabies vaccination.
Before the 2020 rainy season (when malaria cases increase), 409 children returned for a booster.
For the group that received the strongest dose of the adjuvant, the effectiveness of the vaccine increased to 80%, according to the results of the second phase trial, which was published Thursday. With the lowest dose, the efficacy was 70%.
Importantly, one month after receiving a booster dose, malaria antibodies returned to a level similar to that seen after receiving the first doses a year earlier, according to the study.
“It is wonderful to see such high efficacy after a single booster dose,” said study co-author Halidou Tinto, from the Burkina Faso Institute of Health Research.
Tinto, who participated in the trial of the two malaria vaccines, explained that the GSK company’s vaccine has a best efficacy of nearly 60%.
“Therefore, I can confirm that R21 (Oxford vaccine) is more effective,” he said, at a press conference.

– By 2030
“We can look forward to a very significant reduction in this terrible burden of malaria, and a reduction in deaths and diseases in the coming years, certainly by 2030,” said Oxford vaccinologist Adrian Hill, co-author of the study.
He considered that a 70% reduction in malaria deaths could be achieved during this time frame, thanks in part to the large number of vaccine doses that could be produced quickly.
Oxford has partnered with the world’s largest vaccine maker, the Serum Institute of India.
Hill pointed out that the institute “aims to manufacture 200 million doses per year and is able to manufacture them as of next year.”
He said that the six to ten million doses that GSK can produce annually “are not enough for 40 million children who need four doses in the first year.”
He added that the Oxford vaccine will likely cost a few dollars per dose, less than half the price of the “GSK” version of nine dollars.
The results of the phase III trial, which includes 4,800 participants in four countries, are expected to appear later this year, which could lead to the approval of the vaccine.

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Suraj Sewatkar
Suraj Sewatkar
Hi !!! This is Suraj Sewatkar, a blogger by hobby and HR by profession. I like to learn new things and go to new places. I am a website developer and have developed a number of websites and blogs on Blogger as well as WordPress as well with 3 years of experience in the HR field

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