Malaria is a life threatening disease. Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasite which often spread by the bite of Anopheles mosquito. Malaria kills millions of children worldwide.
The malaria mortality rate is higher in the African continent. The malaria vaccine was not previously available. But now World Health Organization has approved GlaxoSmithKline’s Mosquirix vaccine for malaria, let’s find out what is vaccine? and its benefits.
Which vaccine is used against malaria?
The GlaxoSmithKline’s Mosquirix vaccine is first approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the malaria vaccine. GlaxoSmithKline started to develop this vaccine from 1987 but after three decades this vaccine got approval. This vaccine is also known as RTS,S/AS01. This vaccine is the first vaccine which work against a parasite infection.
The vaccine works against Plasmodium falciparum parasite and hepatitis B virus. The vaccine can be used in areas of the world where Plasmodium falciparum malaria is more prevalent. The vaccine also protects the liver from infections caused by Hepatitis B.
Which children can be vaccinated against malaria?
The vaccine protects children between the ages of six weeks and 17 months against malaria caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum.
How malaria vaccine is administered?
The vaccine is injected into the shoulder (Deltoid region) or thigh in a dose of 0.5 ml intramascularly. There are four doses of the malaria vaccine. Initially, three doses are given at the sixth week of age, then at the 10th week and 14th week, means at one month intervals and fourth dose is given 18 months after third dose.
How does the malaria vaccine work?
Mosquirix has an active substance in the malaria vaccine made up of proteins from Plasmodium falciparum and Hepatitis B virus.
By the time the child is vaccinated, the child’s immune system recognizes the protein as a foreign substance and produces antibodies against it.
If a child comes in contact with Plasmodium parasite as well as hepatitis B virus in the future, his immune system will soon start producing antibodies, so the severity of the infection is less. Once these antibodies are formed, they pass through the bloodstream to the liver, where they grow and multiply. Therefore, Plasmodium falciparum parasite as well as Hepatitis B virus cannot grow in the liver and malaria disease will not grow or if got infected with malaria it will cause mild disease.
Why malaria vaccine got approval?
The incidence of malaria in children is high but the malaria vaccine protects against malaria and other serious illnesses. This protection may be reduced over time so a fourth dose is given 18 months after the third dose.
The vaccine was approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) Some children may develop a fever after being vaccinated which is greatly reduced by the fever medication.
What are the benefits of malaria vaccine?
Trials of the malaria vaccine have shown that the incidence of malaria in children is much lower after the vaccine is given and also severity of the illness also reduces. Trials have shown that the vaccine is also useful in jaundice.
What are the side effects of malaria vaccine?
One of the most serious side effects of malaria vaccination is Febrile Seizure. Febrile seizure can occur after vaccinating one in thousand children.
Other common side effects include fever in children, irritability, and swelling in the vaccinated area. Children who have had a reaction to the malaria vaccine as well as the hepatitis vaccine previously should avoid the vaccine.
What is the effectiveness of malaria vaccine?
The effectiveness of vaccine is 39 percent. People who live in a country with low endemic for malaria may find it very low, but people who live in countries with high endemic for malaria may benefit greatly from this vaccine.
Why is malaria vaccine given only to children?
Malaria is one of the leading causes of death among children in Africa. So it is given to young children first.
How much a malaria vaccine cost?
The vaccine will be made available by GlaxoSmithKline at a non-profit cost.
GeoVax also announced issue of malaria vaccine patent. GeoVax modified vaccinia ankara (MVA) vaccine contains vector which has antigen from malarial parasite. It is live attenuated vaccine.