These days, the only vaccine that’s been in the mainstream media is the COVID-19 vaccine, and for good reason too. COVID is currently the world’s biggest problem to tackle, and the vaccine is a great solution for that. Even with COVID becoming a pandemic in early 2020, the vaccine for it came later in the year, which is crazy! There’s one disease, though, that has ravaged developing nations for decades, and that is malaria. The mosquito-borne disease has killed about 400,000 people every year, but it has gotten better and better with global efforts to help contain it, especially from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Now, responses are going to get even better. For the first time, the world has a malaria vaccine after 3 decades of hard work, brought to you by healthcare firm GlaxoSmithKline, a British company that has been a major player for a long time. The WHO recommended their vaccine last week, and it’s a major step forward. For the last few years, the WHO has questioned its efficacy rate and its complicated rollout process. Fortunately, positive data has emerged since, with the vaccine reducing severe cases by about 30 percent in vaccinated children and test countries such as Kenya being able to roll out the vaccine smoothly as demand was high. The downside is that it would likely take some time for the vaccine to reach the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, and the WHO estimates that up to 100 million doses will be necessary. GlaxoSmithKline plans to work with Indian firm Bharat Biotech to manufacture the doses, and experts hope that others hop on too. What do you think about the malaria vaccine?
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