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Wednesday,November 25,2020 07:03 AM

Setback for African malaria vaccine trial

By Vision Reporter

Added 12th November 2012 02:31 PM

Clinical trials for the world’s first Malaria vaccine released last week have shown a 30% efficacy rate, which scientists have described as disappointing.

Clinical trials for the world’s first Malaria vaccine released last week have shown a 30% efficacy rate, which scientists have described as disappointing.

By Taddeo Bwambale and agencies

Clinical trials for the world’s first Malaria vaccine released last week have shown a 30% efficacy rate, which scientists have described as disappointing.

The findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine show that the vaccine named ‘RTS,S’ or ‘Mosquirix’ showed a low protection among infants aged six to 12 weeks who were vaccinated with the drug.

The malaria vaccine trial is being conducted in seven African countries, targeting about 15,500 children. It is spearheaded by British drug maker, GlaxoSmithKline.

However, scientists in Uganda, who are conducting a similar vaccine trial, have expressed hope that Uganda’s version of the vaccine will be successful.

Dr. Myers Lugemwa, the team leader for the Malaria Control Programme, admitted that the results of the trial outside Uganda were much lower than is acceptable.

However, he said the Ugandan team was expecting at least 51% success rate, based on preliminary findings.

“There are different candidates of vaccines being tried and Uganda is trying one of them. In our study, we expect over 51% efficacy rate which is acceptable. Results from trials in Iganga and other districts already show good progress,” he said.

Lugemwa revealed that health experts were already developing a framework to include the proposed vaccine on the list of those recommended for routine vaccination such as those for polio and measles.

The proposed vaccine targets children below the age of two and is expected to be rolled out by 2015, Lugemwa disclosed.

He said researchers had started collecting data on the vaccine trial in Uganda to assess progress.

Malaria claims over 320 lives daily, making it the number one cause of sickness and death in Uganda.

Statistics show that the disease consumes about 10% of the health budget and 25% of household incomes. Besides, experts estimate that Uganda loses over sh658m annually to malaria-related costs.

Lugemwa noted that although finding a malaria vaccine would help combat the disease, effort should be put into other control measures such as indoor spraying and treatment of the sick.

 

Setback for African malaria vaccine trial

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