GAVI Alliance CEO commends succesful trial of RTS,S malaria vaccine
"Every year, malaria kills hundreds of thousands of children so a vaccine offering good protection has the potential to bring enormous public health benefits," Berkley said. "Today's RTS,S trial results show encouraging signs in terms of initial protection. It will be important to understand the duration of protection and impact of booster shots when further data is released in 2014."
The RTS,S malaria vaccine is a candidate vaccine that began development in the 1980s. The initiative was overtaken by GlaxoSmithKline Vaccine and the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative in a public-private agreement in January 2001.
"A licensed vaccine could join insecticide-treated bed nets and anti-malarial drugs as important tools to protect the most vulnerable from malaria," Berkley said. "How and where this vaccine would be used will depend on consultation and recommendations from the World Health Organization and its Strategic Advisory Group of Experts."
The initiative has received support from the United States, Europe and many GAVI-eligible countries, including Gambia, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique.
"Malaria is one of the disease areas currently under consideration for future vaccine support by the GAVI Alliance and these results are a useful contribution to our analyses," Berkley said.