Data confirm vaccine-drug combo ‘drastically’ reduces malaria

26 Aug 2023 • Combining seasonal vaccination and malaria chemoprevention has been shown to reduce the incidence of malaria, hospitalizations, and deaths related to malaria by about two-thirds. This approach involves the use of the RTS,S/AS01E vaccine along with antimalarial drugs during each malaria season. The World Health Organization (WHO) plans to distribute this vaccine in 12 sub-Saharan African countries later this year. Initial results from a three-year study period demonstrated a remarkable reduction in malaria cases when the vaccine and antimalarial drugs were combined. Updated five-year results published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases reaffirm these findings, showing similar levels of efficacy. When treated bed nets were added to the combination of the vaccine and drugs, the level of protection against malaria likely exceeded 90%. Over the course of five years, the incidence of clinical malaria per 1,000 person-years was significantly reduced among children receiving seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) combined with the RTS,S vaccine compared to those receiving only SMC or the vaccine alone. The vaccine-drug combination also led to substantial reductions in severe malaria-related hospital admissions, malarial anemia, blood transfusions, and malaria-related deaths. The protective efficacy of the combination remained consistent over the five-year study period, showing the potential for long-term impact in combatting malaria. Source: The Lancet | Read full story

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