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A Vaccine for Malaria

LIFESAVER The Mosquirix vaccine was endorsed by the World Health Organization on October 6. PATRICK MEINHARDT—GETTY IMAGES

On October 6, the World Health Organization (WHO) made an announcement. It endorsed a vaccine that helps protect against malaria. The WHO says the vaccine, Mosquirix, should be given to children in parts of Africa. Malaria is carried by mosquitoes. It kills more than 400,000 people every year. Most of them live in Africa.

“Today’s recommendation offers a glimmer of hope for the continent,” says Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO’s Africa director. “We expect many more African children to be protected from malaria and grow into healthy adults.”

The vaccine has its drawbacks. It’s only about 30% effective against the worst cases. And a person must get up to four doses. Protection fades after only a few months. But health officials say it could be a breakthrough in the fight against malaria.

The WHO based its advice on research. This research tracked more than 800,000 children. They had all gotten the vaccine since 2019.

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