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New malaria vaccine halves infection

The world's first promising vaccine against malaria halves the risk of children getting malaria, a killer disease that infected 225 million and killed 781,000 people in 108 countries in 2009.

delhi Updated: Oct 20, 2011 00:57 IST
Sanchita Sharma

The world's first promising vaccine against malaria halves the risk of children getting malaria, a killer disease that infected 225 million and killed 781,000 people in 108 countries in 2009.

Final-stage data from GlaxoSmithKline's vaccine trials in seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa shows protection against malaria among 5-to-17-month-olds. Each day, malaria kills 3,000 children in Africa, or the equivalent of seven jumbo jets full of children crashing every day.

Almost half the world's population - or 3.3 billion people - are at risk of malaria, said the WHO's World Malaria Report 2010 released on Tuesday. In India, malaria infected 1,563,344 and killed 1,133 in 2009.

Known as RTS,S or Mosquirix, the vaccine is designed to trigger the immune system to defend against Plasmodium falciparum - the more deadly malaria parasite.

It is expected to help control and not eradicate malaria as it is less effective against the infection than vaccines being used against polio and measles.