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First malaria vaccine gets the green light

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The world’s first ever malaria vaccine has been approved for use by the European Medicine Agency.

The Mosquirix injection, developed by GlaxoSmithKline, has been undergoing trials for 30 years.

It is aimed at small children, as it is most effective when given to those with developing immune systems.

Results mainly came from a large study, which revealed that the vaccine provides modest protection against Plasmodium falciparummalaria (a parasite that can cause malaria in humans) in children in the 12 months following vaccination.

Although five different types of plasmodia parasites can cause malaria, Plasmodium falciparum is seen as the most serious cause of malaria fatalities.

The European Medicine Agency says: “Because the studies showed that Mosquirix does not offer complete protection, and the protection it provides decreases in the longer term, it is important that established protective measures, for example insecticide-treated bed nets, continue to be used in addition to the vaccine.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) will provide recommendations for use of the vaccine by November 2015. This will take in to account the cost-effectiveness of the vaccine and how it should be implemented.

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