The new Oxford malaria vaccine has been shown to be 77% effective in phase 2 clinical trials – suggesting it could be a game-changer in the fight to end the disease.
As the world responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with unprecedented global cooperation and scientific breakthroughs, hopes rose that the same collaborative energy could be used to tackle other killer diseases, like malaria.
An effective vaccine for malaria has long been sought after as a key piece of the puzzle in ending the disease which takes the lives of over 400,000 people every year, most of them young children. But so far, the most effective jab available only offers partial protection. The Oxford vaccine is the first to meet the World Health Organisation’s goal of 75% efficacy against the disease.
The University of Oxford and partners – the same team behind the coronavirus vaccine – published the results from clinical trials of 450 children in Burkina Faso. The vaccine will now enter larger-scale trials in four countries.
If safety is assured, experts believe the Oxford vaccine could become a key weapon in ending malaria for good, ensuring millions around the world can live safe and healthy lives.
Continuing to tackle malaria during the COVID-19 pandemic is a ‘win-win’ for governments: as we fight malaria, we strengthen health systems and create a safer world for all, protecting new generations from deadly diseases like COVID-19 and future health crises.