Scientists Develop New Effective Malaria Vaccine

For the first time in history scientists have made a major breakthrough in malaria treatment. In a lab in Burkina Faso scientists from Oxford University have created a vaccine that is 77% effective in treating the deadly disease. Up to now researchers have only been able to come up with a vaccine that is about 50% effective.

The experimental vaccine, given to 450 small children, showed promising results. Now scientists plan to treat 5000 children with the new drug in the last phase of the trial. If all goes well, millions of doses of the vaccine will be produced in India.

Malaria is one of the deadliest diseases on our planet. Over 200 million people suffer from the illness that is transmitted to people by mosquitos in tropical regions. It kills over 400,000 people each year, mostly children in Africa. According to the World Health Organization, malaria has turned out to be even deadlier than COVID-19 in Africa.

A malaria vaccine is very difficult to develop because its structure, compared to the coronavirus, is very complicated.

Child with malaria in Ethiopia
Rod Waddington from Kergunyah, Australia, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Words

  • according to = as said by …
  • breakthrough = an important new discovery that you work on for a long time
  • develop = create or make something new
  • effective = when something works the way it should
  • experimental = used as an experiment
  • promising = here: hopeful, very good
  • researcher = someone who studies a topic and tries to find out new facts about it
  • scientist = a person who is trained in science and often works in a lab
  • transmit = to pass on to a person or animal
  • treatment = something that is done to cure someone who is ill
  • trial = test to find out if something works or not
  • vaccine = liquid that has a weak form of a virus and can protect people from becoming ill