Malaria is a very tricky disease to control. It usually spread via mosquito bites and we all know there is no controlling those buggers. It is actually caused by a parasite that infects mosquitos and then spreads to humans when a mosquito bites our skin. Now, malaria is curable and preventable if certain precautions are taken but there still a lot to go around and it causes thousands of deaths every year.
According to a survey by the World Health Organization, There were around 229 million cases worldwide of Malaria in 2019 and around 409,000 deaths. So when this team announced a major breakthrough in a malaria vaccine then of course it was going to be a huge deal. This new malaria vaccine by a team working at the University of Oxford has proven to be 77% effective.
Although the results are from an early trial this could be a major breakthrough against the disease. Malaria kills more than 400,000 people a year of which most are children in Africa so this vaccine could have a major health impact worldwide. Everyone is looking for a corona vaccine but trust me when I tell you that there are similar diseases like corona running rampant as well. Not so much in developed countries but it is a problem for underdeveloped countries.
In Africa, there have been more deaths from malaria than from coronavirus in the past year
A malaria vaccine is even harder to make as there are a thousand more genes in malaria than there are in coronavirus (only around a dozen). This means malaria requires a very high immune response to counter the disease. According to Professor Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute and professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford, “That’s a real technical challenge. The vast majority of vaccines haven’t worked because it’s very difficult”.
The research team from Oxford, Nanoro in Burkina Faso, and the US released some of the trial results of the vaccine which is called the R21/Matrix-M. The vaccine showed 77% Efficacy in the higher-dose group and 71% in the lower-dose group.
The Serum Institute of India says that they are confident of delivering more than 200 million doses of the vaccine as soon as they get the green light. But it will still take a few years for the vaccine to be finalized. However, initial results show strong promise.
Another major breakthrough in medical science.