ABN – For the first time a malaria vaccine for children has reached clinical trials and has been tested on 16,000 children across seven African countries.
The results from the trials indicated that the vaccine was “almost effective” except on children aged 5-17 months where the vaccine was only 46% effective.
However experts remain optimistic that the vaccine holds potential to change malaria-stricken communities.
Prof Brian Greenwood, study author and professor of clinical tropical medicine at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “I hoped the vaccine would be more effective, but we were never going to end up with the success seen in measles vaccines with 97% efficacy.”
The trials took place across 11 sites in Burkina Faso, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.
Professor Mike Turner, Head of Infection at the Welcome Trust, said: “While the levels of protection the vaccine offers against clinical malaria may seem relatively low, they are better than any other potential vaccine we currently have.
“The findings are not only important in their own right but also in signposting a road to developing better vaccines in the future.”