Malaria

In principle, malaria could be controlled, and ultimately eradicated, by means of an effective vaccine. RTS,S/AS01 (trade name Mosquirix) is a recombinant protein-based malaria vaccine approved for use by European regulators in July 2015. Among children aged 5–17 months who received 4 doses of RTS,S/AS01, efficacy was 36% over 4 years of follow-up (Laurens 2020). In October 2021, the World Health Organization endorsed RTS,S/AS01 for "widespread use" among children in October 2021,children, making it the first vaccine candidate to receive that recommendation (Piper 2021). The WHO decision was partly based on results from an ongoing pilot program started in 2019 intended to vaccinate 360,000 children per year in Malawi, Ghana and Kenya over a five-year period (World Health Organization 2021). A month before the WHO announcement, a randomized trial had found that a treatment combining antimalarial medication with a four-dose schedule of the RTS,S vaccine, culminating with a booster shot just before the most vulnerable season, was much more effective than either of those methods alone (Chandramohan et al. 2021). In 2020, a study using a standard model of malaria transmission estimated that 4.3 million cases and 22,000 deaths in children under five could be averted annually assuming 30 million people are vaccinated, provided areas with the highest malaria burden are prioritized (Hogan, Winskill & Ghani 2020).

In principle, malaria could be controlled, and ultimately eradicated, by means of an effective vaccine. RTS,SS/AS01 (trade name Mosquirix) is a recombinant protein-based malaria vaccine,vaccine approved for use by European regulators in July 2015 and endorsed by2015. Among children aged 5–17 months who received 4 doses of RTS,S/AS01, efficacy was 36% over 4 years of follow-up (Laurens 2020). In October 2021, the World Health Organization endorsed RTS,S/AS01 for "widespread use" among children in October 2021—2021, making it the first malaria vaccine candidate to receive that recommendation.recommendation (Piper 2021). The WHO decision was partly based on results from an ongoing pilot program started in 2019 intended to vaccinate 360,000 children per year in Malawi, Ghana and Kenya over a five-year period (World Health Organization 2021). A month before the WHO announcement, a randomized trial had found that a treatment combining antimalarial medication with a four-dose schedule of the RTS,S vaccine, culminating with a booster shot just before the most vulnerable season, was much more effective than either of those methods alone (Chandramohan et al. 2021). In 2020, a study using a standard model of malaria transmission estimated that 4.3 million cases and 22,000 deaths in children under five could be averted annually assuming 30 million people are vaccinated, provided areas with the highest malaria burden are prioritized (Hogan, Winskill & Ghani 2020).

Hogan, Alexandra B., Peter Winskill & Azra C. Ghani (2020) Estimated impact of RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine allocation strategies in sub-Saharan Africa: A modelling study, PLOS Medicine, vol. 17, p. e1003377.

Laurens, Matthew B. (2019) RTS,S/AS01 vaccine (Mosquirix™): an overview, Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics, vol. 16, pp. 480–489.

Piper, Kelsey (2021) Why the WHO approval of the first malaria vaccine is a big deal, Vox, October 6.

In principle, malaria could be controlled, and ultimately eradicated, by means of an effective vaccine. RTS,S (trade name Mosquirix) is a recombinant protein-based malaria vaccine, approved for use by European regulators in July 2015 and endorsed by the World Health Organization for "widespread use" among children in October 2021—the first malaria vaccine candidate to receive that recommendation. The WHO decision was partly based on results from an ongoing pilot program started in 2019 intended to vaccinate 360,000 children per year in Malawi, Ghana and Kenya over a five-year period (World Health Organization 2021). A month before the announcement, a randomized trial had found that a treatment combining antimalarial medication with a four-dose schedule of the RTS,S vaccine, culminating with a booster shot just before the most vulnerable season, was much more effective than either of those methods alone (Chandramohan et al. 2021).

In principle, malaria could be controlled, and ultimately eradicated, by means of an effective vaccine. However, currentlyRTS,S (trade name Mosquirix) is a recombinant protein-based malaria vaccine, approved for use by European regulators in July 2015 and endorsed by the only existingWorld Health Organization for "widespread use" among children in October 2021—the first vaccine iscandidate to receive that recommendation. The WHO decision was partly based on results from an ongoing pilot program started in 2019 intended to vaccinate 360,000 children per year in Malawi, Ghana and Kenya over a five-year period (World Health Organization 2021). A month before the announcement, a randomized trial had found that a treatment combining antimalarial medication with a four-dose schedule of the RTS,S vaccine, culminating with a booster shot just 35% effective and its use is slightly less cost-before the most vulnerable season, was much more effective than thateither of insecticide treated bed-nets (Gessner, Wraith & Finn 2016). There are also some concerns about its safety (Penny those methods alone (Chandramohan et al 2016)al. 2021).

Chandramohan, Daniel et al. (2021) Seasonal malaria vaccination with or without seasonal malaria chemoprevention, New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 385, pp. 1005–1017.

World Health Organization (2021) WHO recommends groundbreaking malaria vaccine for children at risk, October 6.

Yet another approach to combat malaria is to eliminate the mosquito species responsible for spreading the disease, or to modify it genetically to render it incapable of carrying malaria. Gene drives—drivesgenetic modifications designed to spread through a population at higher-than-normal rates of inheritance—could achieve both of these goals. In 2016, Open Philanthropy made a grant to enable the formation of a working group to further investigate genetic modification as a form of malaria control (Open Philanthropy 2016), and the following year it made a $17.5 million grant to Target Malaria, a nonprofit research consortium working to develop gene drive technologies to eradicate malaria in sub-Saharan Africa (Open Philanthropy 2017).