GlaxoSmithKline has sought approval from health authorities regarding the marketing of world’s first malaria vaccine. The prototype vaccine has been shown to partially ward off the disease in case of small children.
A conference took place in South Africa in which the suitability of the RTS, S vaccine was discussed. It was clearly shown that in case of small children who had been vaccinated there was a 46% decrease in chances of catching malaria. However, there was a discrepancy. In case of those aged six months to a year, the immunity was decreased by 27%.
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he maker of the vaccine, the drug manufacturing company known as GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), has applied to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the right to use the vaccine in poor countries. The approval of this health authority will decide the fate of millions dying from the disease in Third World countries. Especially, the continent of Africa needs the vaccine on an urgent basis.
The vaccine is most suitable for Sub-Saharan Africa and not meant for the European Union. The World Health Organization too has a say in how the vaccine will be utilized to fight the otherwise fatal disease. Malaria infects over 220 million victims, out of which 660,000 die due to lack of proper treatment.
The experimental trial for the vaccine is still in an ongoing stage. Part of the prophylactic efforts included the use of insecticide-treated bed nets. Once GSK gets the go-ahead signal from the EMA things can proceed smoothly from there onwards. GSK has already spent in excess of $360 million and plans to invest a further $260 million in the research and development of the vaccine.