WHO: Introduction of first malaria vaccine should be delayed
- GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) Mosquirix is the first malaria vaccine, but experts have warned that it will not be ready for introduction for three to five years and the World Health Organization is urging caution.
- The efficacy data for Mosquirix is not as good as data for other vaccines, but other vaccines in development for malaria a re at least five to 10 years away from completion.
- Mosquirix must be administered in four doses to be effective.
There have already been aproximately 214 million new cases of malaria and 438,000 deaths this year. However, despite the need, officials from WHO are concerned that patients may not be able to receive all four doses of a malaria vaccine, and may therefore be at risk of not being fully vaccinated. Each dose costs $5, making a full treatment $20. This is four times the cost of an insecticide-treated bed net.
WHO officials have determined that more reserach is needed in children ages 5 to 17 months before it is used more widely. This could involve up to 1 million chidren and take up to five years. GSK has already pledged to not make a profit from Mosquirix, but instead to mark it up 5% in order to reinvest into more R&D in the area of tropical diseases.