A new vaccine halves the risk of malaria in children, according to an ongoing multinational phase 3 study of 15 460 children living in sub-Saharan Africa (RTS,S Clinical Trials Partnership. N Engl J Med. 2011;365:1863-1875).
In the study, children in 2 age categories—6 to 12 weeks of age and 5 to 17 months of age—at 11 trial sites in 7 countries received either the RTS,S/AS01 Plasmodium falciparum vaccine or a nonmalaria comparator vaccine. The researchers found that 3 doses of the RTS,S/AS01 vaccine in the first 6000 of 8923 children in the older age category reduced the risk of children experiencing malaria and severe malaria by 56% and 47%, respectively, during the 12 months after vaccination. Efficacy and safety data from the younger age group are expected in 2012.
Friedrich MJ. Effective Malaria Vaccine. JAMA. 2011;306(23):2553. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1808