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Malaria Vaccine

Mains-GS-3-Technology, Prelims- Science & Technology

A new malaria vaccine has shown efficacy of 77% in phase 2 trials.

Previous vaccine

1. RTS,S is a malaria vaccine that has been developed for 30 years.

2. It is designed to stop the Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite from entering the liver and preventing the subsequent deadly blood stages.

3.  It targets the liver stage protein of the Plasmodium falciparum life cycle.

4. It is the only vaccine to reduce malaria in children.

5. But due of Its low efficacy it is not widely used, necessitating creation of the new vaccine R21/Matrix M.

6. This new vaccine is a modified version of RTS,S.

New Vaccine

1. R21/Matrix M has been developed at University of Oxford.

2. The vaccine was the first to reach WHO’s goal of at least 75% efficacy.

3. This vaccine was produced in the Serum Institute of India.

4. SII and US vaccine maker Novavax have started the third phase of trials.

Importance

1. In 2019, an estimated 229 million cases of malaria and about 4 lakh malaria-related deaths in 87 countries was reported.

2. Children under the age of 5 in sub-Saharan Africa accounted for approximately two-thirds of global deaths.

3. In 2019, India had an estimated 5.6 million cases of malaria compared to about 20 million cases in 2020.

4. So, this vaccine is critical in saving many malaria affected lives.

Pandemic Impact

1. One-third of countries around the world reported disruptions in malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment services during the first quarter of 2021.

2. Restrictions on the movement of people and goods have led to delays in the delivery of insecticide-treated mosquito nets, increasing mosquito attacks.

3. Malaria diagnosis and treatment services were interrupted as many people were unable – or unwilling – to seek care in health facilities.

Source : Indian Express