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Early Malaria Vaccine Results

A new vaccine for malaria has shown high efficacy in a small trial, the Guardian reports, noting that malaria kills about 400,000 people, mostly children, each year.

It adds that scientists have been working on a malaria vaccine for about a century. According to the Guardian, there is one from GlaxoSmithKline called Mosquirix being piloted in a few countries in Africa, but it is only 39 percent effective in preventing malaria.

Now in a small trial of 450 children in Burkina Faso, a new vaccine developed by researchers at the University of Oxford was between 71 percent and 77 percent effective in preventing malaria, as they report in a preprint at the Lancet. This makes it, the BBC notes, the first malaria vaccine to meet the World Health Organization's goal of having at least 75 percent efficacy.

Principal investigator Halidou Tinto from Clinical Research Unit of Nanoro, Burkina Faso, says in a statement, according to CNN, that the results are "very exciting," and adds that they are looking forward to a phase III trial.

According to the Guardian, the researchers have an agreement in place with the Serum Institute of India to manufacture the vaccine at low cost.