The World ’s First Malaria Vaccine—and What it Means for the Future of Pandemic Response

On Oct. 6, the World Health Organization recommended use of the first vaccine to fight malaria. The decision is momentous and highly anticipated for many reasons: among them is that this is the first vaccine to help reduce the risk of deadly severe malaria in young children in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the disease remains a leading killer. The vaccine offers hope that there can be a circle of learning from one pandemic to the next. Malaria, our oldest pandemic, may offer insights on how we can survive contemporary scourges like COVID-19. Malaria evolved at least 2.5 million years ago and first infected humans in rural parts of Africa. It then spread to all continents save Antarctica—notably, killing off armies ranging from those trying to conquer ancient Rome to those battling to control the Pacific in World War II. Malaria, according to historians, may have killed more people than any other pandemic. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Malaria changed history. The fight against it is changing the world. When I first fell sick with malaria as an infant in Liberia in 1981, about a million children were dying every year from this disease. But in the early 2000s, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria and the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), which President Joe Biden appointed me to lead in February of this year, was created. With sustained global funding, many more children and their families with malaria now get tested and treat...
Source: TIME: Science - Category: Science Authors: Tags: Uncategorized health healthscienceclimate Source Type: news

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