A newly approved vaccine may finally make a dent in malaria, Elizabeth Tracey reports


Malaria is a scourge worldwide, spread by mosquitoes. And with climate change, the range of these mosquitoes is expanding, likely bringing malaria to a location near you. Good news then that a vaccine is finally available. Infectious disease expert Anna Durbin at Johns Hopkins says while not a home run, we’re at least on base.

Durbin: This vaccine has been in development for decades. When the first results were released people were a bit disappointed. So it had around 35% efficacy, something like that. But when you put that into perspective in terms of the morbidity and mortality of malaria, it’s the old adage you know, every little bit helps. It’s not a great vaccine, but it’s going to make an impact in terms of the health particularly of children in Africa.  :30

Durbin notes that parasites such as the one that cause malaria are exponentially more difficult to develop vaccines against than viruses, such as the one that causes Covid, since they are even more willey at evading our immune response. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.