Friday, October 15, 2004

The New York Times:Malaria Vaccine Proves Effective

By Donald G. McNeil Jr. (10/15/04) (free reg. req.)
For the first time, researchers say, a vaccine against malaria has shown that it can save children from infection or death.
The vaccine, tested on thousands of children in Mozambique, was hardly perfect: It protected them from catching the disease only about 30 percent of the time and prevented it from becoming life-threatening only about 58 percent of the time.
But because malaria kills more than a million people a year, 700,000 of them children, even partial protection would be a public health victory. The disease, caused by a parasite carried by mosquitoes, is found in 90 countries, and drug-resistant strains are spreading.

Thank goodness. Hopefully this will lead to an even more effective vaccine. I worry, though, that it will be impossible to vaccinate enough children - especially if it has to be repeated several times.

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