Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More Success!

There was more promising news about the Glaxo malaria RTS,S vaccine yesterday, with researchers publishing results showing the malaria vaccine protects up to 65 percent of infants from infection -- setting up the Phase III trial that I reported on over the summer.

This is not a surprise, but it is good news for all the people who have put such hard work to get this trial off the ground and for the families who have been part of the trials so far, including those I met in Kenya and Tanzania.

Of course 65 percent protection is not 100 percent protection, and it will be interesting to see how the public health puzzle pieces fit together as this project moves forward. Will other, potentially more promising vaccines still receive development funding? Will the investment into the African clinical trail centers have more effect on improving basic healthcare in the region?

As one doctor in Kenya told me: "we don't want to save them from malaria as children so they can grow up to die of AIDS as adults".