First large-scale malaria vaccine trials for Africa

Three African countries have been chosen to test the world's first malaria vaccine.

The World Health Organisation Regional Office for Africa (WHO/Afro) announced yesterday that the injectable vaccine, RTS, S, was developed to protect young children from the most deadly form of malaria.

The aim of the trial is to assess the effectiveness of the vaccine as well the feasibility of its delivery to populations at risk as four successive doses must be given on a strict timetable.

In 2015, approximately 429,000 people died from malaria, the majority of them were young children in Africa. 90 percent of 2015's malaria cases occurred in Africa, as did 92 percent of malaria deaths.

The countries will deliver the vaccine through their existing vaccination schemes.

The WHO's decision to pilot the programme in Africa stems from the fact that the continent has the highest burden of the disease.

According to the World Malaria Report 2016, the rate of new malaria cases fell by 21 percent globally between 2010 and 2015.

But the United Nations agency has said in the past that such estimates are based mostly on modelling, and data is so poor for 31 countries in Africa - including those believed to have the worst outbreaks - that it could not tell if cases have been rising or falling in the last 15 years.

Across the Sahel, where most malaria cases and deaths among children occur in the rainy season, World Health Organization recommends seasonal malaria chemoprevention - a preventive therapy shown to reduce new cases of severe malaria in young children by roughly 75 per cent.

In clinical trials it proved only partially effective, and it needs to be given in a four-dose schedule, but is the first regulator-approved vaccine against the mosquito-borne disease. Africa is the hardest hit and most of the deaths are in children.

The pilot program will survey and test over 750,000 children with ages between five and 17 months.

The vaccine will be assessed in the pilot programme as a complementary malaria control tool that could potentially be added to the core package of WHO-recommended measures for malaria prevention. In each country, at least 120,000 children will be vaccinated to see whether the promising results from the clinical trials hold up to real-life conditions. Global officials will see how effectively it protects children exposed to the disease, which is carried by mosquitoes.

RTS, S was developed by GSK in partnership with the non-profit PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative and part-funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

While the vaccine's rollout constitutes a "landmark", RTS, S has so far only shown that it offers protection for around one year after the final dose is administered, says Professor David Conway, a malaria expert at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

The pilots are being funded by: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Unitaid, the World Health Organization and GSK.

  • Roberto Firmino vs. West Bromwich Albion

    Roberto Firmino vs. West Bromwich Albion

    Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has praised striker Divock Origi's performance following their "wonderful" 1-0 win over West Brom. Klopp said: "He was really present around the set-pieces, with three or four or five fists [punches]".

    British Parliament backs PM's call for June general election over 'Brexit'

    In a preview of her election strategy, Mrs May said: "I will be taking out to the country in this campaign a proud record of a Conservative government".
    Facebook launches new 'virtual reality' meeting space for friends

    Facebook launches new 'virtual reality' meeting space for friends

    That's also why Spaces is limited to up to four participants and why you can't move around too much once you're in a space. Separate and apart from the Oculus deal, Facebook has already pumped $250 million into VR research and development.
  • Sessions praises NYPD after 'soft on crime' controversy

    Federal immigration authorities complained at the time, saying the teenager was a member of the violent MS-13 street gang. I locked up over 1,000 gang members in 2016. "Maybe we should ask them if we're soft on crime", he said.
    HBO and Sky announce $250m high-end drama partnership

    HBO and Sky announce $250m high-end drama partnership

    Overall group revenue rose by 5% to £9,641 million, while United Kingdom revenue increased by 4% to £6,410 million. Sky said it had attracted 769,000 new customers over the past year, with 106,000 joining in the last quarter.

    Lawmakers reject changes to property tax-relief bill

    Dayton has proposed a $45.8 billion biennial budget; the House has proposed $46.3 billion; the Senate is at about $45 million. The bill would increase per-student funding by about $200 for most districts.
  • Trump aides differ over Assad's future after Syria attack

    It said the strike was believed to have been carried out by Russian planes, which operate in support of the Syrian government.
    Cigarette Packs Could Cost At Least $13 Apiece Under New Legislation

    Cigarette Packs Could Cost At Least $13 Apiece Under New Legislation

    Bootlegging of cigarettes (and alcohol, also highly taxed in New York) costs the state almost $2 billion in tax revenue each year. Requiring all residential buildings to create a smoking policy and disclosing it to both current and prospective tenants 5.

    'We are top for a reason,' says Chelsea defender Luiz

    Now with only a four points gap between the Blues and the Spurs, Tottenham's dream season is still possible. "I think Chelsea play first don't they in the next round of Premier League fixtures".
  • Call of Duty WW2 beta, setting, co-op and release date details leaked

    Call of Duty WW2 beta, setting, co-op and release date details leaked

    Call of Duty: WWII will also feature a co-op mode with a unique storyline for gamers to play through with friends. Players will be able to play with friends in the next level standalone game.
    Residential prices around the country jump, according to latest CSO figures

    Residential prices around the country jump, according to latest CSO figures

    The housing market report was released amid concerns that Department of Housing data on house completions is inaccurate. Average weekly rent paid to landlords also increased between 2011 and 2016 - going from €171.19 to €199.92.
    Spoils for a champion: Patriots open season hosting Chiefs

    Spoils for a champion: Patriots open season hosting Chiefs

    The rest of the opening weekend will feature what seems like a yearly occurrence, with Dallas hosting the Giants on Sunday night. Nope, don't care about Andy Reid's record in's just more fun to watch your team when they're the only game on.