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A more detailed look at some of the issues around vaccines and vaccinations.

A Malaria breakthrough as WHO target is reached for the first time

This month, New Scientist magazine reported that the team behind the Oxford/Astra Zeneca Covid vaccine reached another milestone with the development of their Malaria vaccine.

Why does this matter?

It matters because before Covid, Malaria was one of the most deadly infectious diseases in the world, killing just over 400,000 people every year and infecting almost 300 million.  Whilst death rates have halved since 2000, progress has slowed and as migration increases in areas affected by it, there is a real danger this will start to increase again.

WHO target met.

The World Health Organisation set a target of achieving 75% efficacy with a vaccine and the stage 2b trials show 77% being achieved. This matters because at this level, if enough people are vaccinated, the cycle of mosquitoes feeding on infected people and re-infecting others, starts to break down. 

What now?

The vaccine is now entering large-scale field trials (phase 3) after being shown to be safe for those receiving it. This phase should give the team the data they need to apply for the vaccine to be licensed.

Oxford University is partnering the Serum Institute of India and Novavax in the project and they believe that the vaccine will be capable of cheap mass production, allowing potentially 200m doses to be distributed each year across malaria-affected areas. 


The search for a safe and effective Covid vaccine is the World’s no1 medical priority