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  1. #1
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    Malaria vaccine could save hundreds of thousands

    Hundreds of thousands of lives could be saved every year by a malaria vaccine that halves the risk of infection, results of a landmark trial indicate.

    As little as a decade ago vaccine experts considered the challenge of tackling the mosquito-borne infection impossible Photo: PA


    By Stephen Adams, Medical Correspondent

    6:47PM BST 18 Oct 2011

    The pan-African trial in 6,000 children aged five to 17 months found the vaccine reduced the numbers infected with the most serious form of malaria by 56 per cent, in the 12 months after vaccination, compared to those who did not receive the jab.
    It also reduced the number of severe malaria cases by 47 per cent.

    As little as a decade ago vaccine experts considered the challenge of tackling the mosquito-borne infection impossible.

    But scientists on the project said the results proved that "innovation and a lot of hard work" paid off in the end.

    The vaccine, RTS,S, is a collaboration between GSK, the drugs giant; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative and individual African research centres.

    Dr Chris Elias, chief executive officer of PATH, said: "Today, in the face of a seemingly intractable challenge, resignation is moving aside in favour of hope and possibility. We are on track to make history with this vaccine trial."

    GSK has invested some $300 million (191m) in the project, which it does not intend to recoup, and Bill Gates $200 million (127 million). The drugs firm intends to make the vaccine as cheaply as possible, supplying it at cost price plus five per cent mark-up, which it has pledged to re-invest in research and development for underfunded vaccines.
    Malaria affects vast swathes of the tropics and sub-tropics. About 225 million people are infected every year, while some 800,000 die - mostly children in sub-Saharan Africa.
    The results of the phase three trial were published on Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
    The researchers, led by Dr Mary Hamel of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, wrote that the initial results show the vaccine "has the potential to have an important impact on the burden of malaria in young African children".
    However, more results are needed before the World Health Organisation (WHO) will grant a licence, leading to widespread immunisation.
    Results from the same trial, of vaccinations in six-to-12-week old babies, will be reported in a year. These are crucial because doctors want to incorporate the vaccine in the immunisation schedule many countries have for babies, for diseases such as measles and polio.
    After that, follow up data for three-years post-vaccination will need to be examined, to see if it has long-lived protection.
    The scientists hope that the vaccine will be ready for roll-out by 2015.
    Mr Gates said: "A vaccine is the simplest, most cost-effective way to save lives. These results demonstrate the power of working with partners to create a malaria vaccine that has the potential to protect millions of children from this devastating disease."


    Malaria vaccine could save hundreds of thousands - Telegraph

  2. #2
    Ocean Transient
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    Great advance. In the Aids hysteria we almost forget how many millions die from these ageless deadly diseases. Lets hope that the initial trials prove good and the vaccine can be spread widely.

  3. #3
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    Well that's just great, as if the world wasn't overpopulated enough.

  4. #4
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    ^ What he said.

    Most (90%?) of them are Africans, breed like rats and can't feed themselves anyway. So they'll die of starvation instead.

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