Malaria vaccine has world-changing potential to save lives.

A vaccine developed at the University of Oxford provides as much as 80% protection against malaria, a study published in The Lancet has found. Trial results from 409 children in Nanoro, Burkina Faso show that three initial doses followed by a booster a year later gives up to 80% protection. Antibody levels were restored to similar levels as those following the primary vaccinations 28 days after the booster doses were administered. No serious adverse events related to the vaccine were noted.

Malaria vaccine has world-changing potential to save lives.

 A vaccine developed at the University of Oxford provides as much as 80% protection against malaria, a study published in The Lancet has found.

Trial results from 409 children in Nanoro, Burkina Faso show that three initial doses followed by a booster a year later gives up to 80% protection. Antibody levels were restored to similar levels as those following the primary vaccinations 28 days after the booster doses were administered. No serious adverse events related to the vaccine were noted.

 It is fantastic so see such high efficacy again after a single booster dose of vaccine. We are currently part of a very large phase III trial aimed at licensing this vaccine for widespread use next year,’ said Halidou Tinto, Professor in Parasitology, Regional Director of IRSS in Nanoro, and the trial Principal Investigator.

 The trial has been extended for another two years to assess if further booster doses will be necessary to maintain high efficacy over time.

 ‘We are delighted to find that a standard four dose immunisation regime can now, for the first time, reach the high efficacy level over two years that has been an aspirational target for malaria vaccines for so many years,’ said Professor Adrian Hill, the University of Oxford’s Director of the Jenner Institute and Lakshmi Mittal and Family Professor of Vaccinology, and co-author of the paper.

 Results from the key ongoing Phase III licensure trial to assess large-scale safety and efficacy in 4,800 children aged five to 36 months across four African countries, are also expected later this year.

 ‘Despite ongoing efforts to reduce the malaria burden – including through the provision of insecticide-treated bed nets, improvement in access to treatment, and chemoprevention — malaria continues to pose an unacceptably high burden, resulting in over 640,000 deaths globally each year, mostly in young children in Africa. These new results demonstrating high sustained efficacy of the R21 malaria vaccine over a 2-year period are therefore very welcome,’ said Azra Ghani, Chair in Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London.

 ‘What is particularly encouraging from a scientific perspective are two pieces of information provided by these results; first the demonstration that antibody titres can be restored through boosting with this vaccine, and second that the antibody titres correlate with protection against clinical disease.’