Malaria vaccine gets ‘green light’

The first malaria vaccine has cleared one of the final hurdles prior to being approved for use in Africa. The European Medicines Agency gave a positive scientific opinion after assessing its safety and effectiveness. It represents a ‘green light’ for the Mosquirix jab, developed by GlaxoSmithKline. Even a partially effective vaccine could have a role to play in countries with high rates of disease.
The World Health Organization will consider later this year whether to recommend it for children, among whom trials have yielded mixed results. Malaria kills around 584,000 people a year worldwide, most of them children under five in sub-Saharan Africa.
Mosquirix, otherwise known as the RTS,S vaccine, is the first against a parasitic infection in humans. Dr Ripley Ballou, head of research at GSK vaccines, said: "This is a hugely significant moment. I’ve been working on this vaccine for 30 years and this is a dream come true." The company has not revealed the price of the vaccine, but has pledged not to make a profit from it.