The first vaccine ever to protect against Malaria, RTS,S/AS01 - is in the final stages of trial. The vaccine offers up to 4 years of protection from malaria, and a booster dose of the RTS,S vaccine given 18 months later, confers prolonged protection.From trials, greater benefits were noted in young children 5 to 17 months old than in infants.
The vaccine was developed for use in countries such as Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, where malaria is estimated to kill around 1,300 children every day.
However, the researchers found that meningitis was more common among the children that received the RTS,S/AS01 vaccine (21 children) than among those receiving the control vaccine (just one child), as were convulsions.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is yet to determine if the vaccine will be added to the immunization schedule for children.