Is There a Vaccine for Malaria?

Malaria Treatment »

As of yet, there is no vaccine available for malaria for the general public. However, a lot of research has been undertaken to find a vaccine for this disease because it would save the lives of so many people. One vaccine for the parasite Plasmodium falciparum is being tested in 7 African countries that suffer from the disease. So far, the results are not available but they will hopefully be published in 2014 with encouraging news.

It is possible that a vaccine will be successful because people who live in endemic areas have acquired some immunity towards the disease. A vaccine introduces a version of the parasite into your system so that it will not cause harm but will allow your body to create an immune response. Your body will then remember the infection and will be able to react quicker if you are ever infected again so that it is less likely that you will contract malaria. We already know that humans can develop immunity by looking at endemic areas so a vaccine could be successful.

The vaccine that is currently in the trial stages has been in the works for approximately two decades by GlaxoSmithKline. It is undergoing a large-scale trial in Africa on 15,640 children and young babies. How long the immunity that the vaccine will provide is still under question and will be reported in 2014. The potential of this vaccine is paramount as it could halve the risk of malaria for young children. This would save so many lives as most of the deaths from malaria are of young children and babies. It is hoped that if this vaccine is successful, it can be introduced to endemic areas as early as 2015 and it will hopefully relieve some of the strain that is put on hospitals that have to deal with a multitude of malaria cases per day.

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