Good news for Nigeria, others as potential malaria vaccine surpasses 75% efficacy

Good news for Nigeria, others as potential malaria vaccine surpasses 75% efficacy

There is hope of ending malaria, a disease that kills hundred of thousands of people annually, including in Nigeria, as a malaria vaccine has now shown huge promise.

For the first time, a vaccine has been found to surpass the 75 per cent efficacy goal set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for a malaria vaccine to receive a nod.

The successful development of COVID-19 vaccines in record time propelled what health experts described as a landmark achievement in the advancement of a vaccine for malaria, one of the biggest killers of children globally.

Adrian Hill, whose work at Oxford University’s Jenner institute set the foundations for the Oxford COVID-19 vaccines, designed and developed the malaria vaccine dubbed ‘R21/Matrix-M’ which is said to demonstrate 77 per cent efficacy in over 12 months of trials.

The findings come from the first 12 months of an ongoing phase two trial, which was first launched in Burkina Faso in May 2019 and involves 450 children, aged 5 to 17 months, according to a report by the Independent UK on Friday.

Some health experts have expressed optimism in the new vaccine for the mosquito-borne disease that kills over 400,000 people every year, globally.

The idea of controlling malaria by vaccination dates back to 1910 when the first scientific report was developed in Algeria.

Clinical trials began in the 1940s, got serious from the 1980s onwards and, today, over 140 malaria vaccine candidates have been tested in humans, according to a report by The Conversation.

But none has progressed to approval and deployment, a sharp contrast to the COVID-19 vaccine which was developed in less than one year.