Health, Malaria, AFRICA:
Major malaria vaccine less effective than hoped

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WASHINGTON - Results of a potentially major anti-malaria vaccine, published Friday in the New England Journal of Medicine, have proved the drugs efficacy levels are lower than researchers had hoped.
After decades of research, the third phase of testing on the vaccine, RTS,S found that the drug reduced malaria rates among infants by about a third.

Researchers had hoped for a higher efficacy rate that would have allowed RTS,S doses to be incorporated into the standard round of initial vaccinations that newborns receive.

The disappointing results follow surprisingly positive results last year where RTS,S was almost twice as effective on slightly older children aged five to 17 months.

While it would be easier to administer a single early vaccine on infants, researchers say that given the surprising results, they will look into additional strengthening options, such as a booster for toddlers. /IPS (END//2012)

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