According to recent reports, the first malaria vaccine was developed, approved and ready for use. The European drug regulators gave the new vaccine their approval and said it was safe and effective for babies who live in Africa and have a very high risk of contracting malaria from infected mosquitoes.
The first malaria vaccine is called Mosquirix or RTS.S and was produced by GlaxoSmithKline, the British drug manufacturer, in collaboration with experts from the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative. According to the team of scientists who developed it, the drug is the first licensed vaccine for humans against parasitic diseases. The vaccine could help prevent millions of people from contracting the malaria disease.
Mosquirix, the first malaria vaccine, was developed thanks to funds received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and has been assessed by the World Health Organization. The organization said that it will guide the experts on how and where to use the first malaria vaccine by the end of the year.
Recent reports suggest that malaria is a disease that infects more than 200 million people every year. According to the medical experts, more than 584,000 people died of malaria in 2013, and most of them were from the sub-Saharan Africa. The same reports show that more than 80% of those who died were children under the age of 5.
Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, said that the positive recommendations of EMA were very important and contributed in making available the first malaria vaccine ever created. Witty said in a statement that even though the Mosquirix vaccine is not the complete solution for eradicating malaria all on its own, using it with other interventions, such as insecticides and bed nets, will provide a very efficient tool for controlling the disease and protect the African children who most need it.
Health experts worldwide have been hoping and waiting for the scientists to develop a vaccine against malaria for a long time now. According to official sources, the scientists from GlaxoSmithKline have been working on developing the Mosquirix vaccine for the past 30 years. The vaccine also comes with an adjuvant, or a booster, created by Agenus, a biotech company from the United States.
However, tests conducted in 2011 and 2012 revealed that the vaccine reduced malaria by only 27% in babies 6 to 12 weeks old, and 46% in children 5 to 17 months old.
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