The Lancet reports on global efforts to develop a malaria vaccine, writing, "Since the mid-1980s, various malaria vaccine candidates have been tested in the hope of finding a molecule that can provide long-lasting immune protection against the disease that still kills 600,000 to 1.2 million people in sub-Saharan Africa each year. However, none has yet made it into routine use." The journal highlights a recent trial "of one of the most advanced candidate vaccines, the RTS,S subunit vaccine," which "found only modest efficacy, about 30 percent," and notes, "These results prompted some people to question whether this vaccine is ever likely to make a viable contribution to malaria control programs." The Lancet adds, "Meanwhile, new experiments with whole parasite immunizations offer hope of more effective vaccines, but with substantial technological challenges" (Hayward, January 2013).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.