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Malaria vaccine closer to reality

Vaccine shows partial protection, paving the way for final trial

3:57pm, December 8, 2008

Firing new shots in the malaria war, a vaccine still in the testing stage is now a step closer to becoming a public health reality. Two new reports, from Kenya and Tanzania, show that the vaccine halves a child’s risk of getting malaria, setting the stage for an even larger trial that researchers hope will provide the definitive evidence needed for approval of what would be the first vaccine for the disease.

The new studies appear in the Dec. 11 New England Journal of Medicine.

“This is the only malaria vaccine to have reached this level of testing. It’s remarkable,” says William Collins, a malaria researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. “I think this justifies the usefulness of moving on to the more large-scale trial.”

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