British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline has signaled its intention of coming out with a malaria vaccine after confirming that it has applied for an EU approval for its RTS,S vaccine.
Despite seeking approval in Europe, the company revealed that the vaccine will be used for treating malaria in children living in sub-Saharan Africa, though the mass vaccination program will begin in 2015 at the earliest.
AdvertisementGSK revealed that trials of the vaccine have found it to halve the number of malaria cases among children between 5 and 17 months while it reduced the number of cases by a quarter in younger babies. Should GSK get the approval, it would be the world's first vaccine against malaria.
Stating that the vaccine could be crucial in reducing the number of deaths among children even if its effect wanes after some time, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine's Colin Sutherland said, "If you can protect kids in Africa—or partially protect them—for that period in life when they're at most risk of severe illness or death, then even if that protection wanes you've got them through the worst".