Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Vaccine trials

Raise your hand if you took note of the press release regarding the malaria vaccine to jump at the chance to announce it before me. I see you there, sitting alone, sheepishly raising your hand. Actually, I'm quite proud of you. You're paying attention, spreading the word, and enlightening the world. Raise your hand higher, be proud! Oh wait. You in the public library: Put your hand down. People can see you.

So why is Ana so late to the party? No one told me the media gods were releasing the news today. I'm not psychic, you know. Also, I was preoccupied with public transit issues. Don't ask...

Of the emails and messages I received from avid followers, these are my favorites:
Can this really be true? Yaa!
Vampire fans -- this could be a breakthough.
Look [link] Why haven't you written yet? Did you get staked?

Calm yourselves, people. I'm not hindered by the strike of a little stake. The picketing version may be a different story, however.

Now that I'm back online, let me abbreviate the news:

"A pivotal efficacy trial of RTS,S, the world's most clinically advanced malaria vaccine candidate, is now underway in seven African countries: Burkina Faso, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania" (PATH). This vaccine is the first to be designed specifically for malaria in Africa. Trials are being conducted in seven countries and different regions "across Sub-Saharan Africa" in order "to evaluate the vaccine candidate's efficacy in a variety of settings, with diverse patterns of malaria transmission. For example, some trial sites are located in areas where there is a year-round threat of malaria, while others experience only seasonal transmission". "The vaccine profile is intended primarily for infants, as they and children under the age of five are the most vulnerable to malaria" (PATH).

Previous research "studies showed that RTS,S reduced clinical episodes of malaria by 53 percent over an eight-month follow-up period" (PATH). Phase III trials are being conducted in what is now "the largest trial ever conducted in Africa of a vaccine specifically designed for use with African children."

PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (2009, November 3). World's Largest Malaria Vaccine Trial Now Underway In Seven African Countries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 3, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com¬ /releases/2009/11/091103102248.htm

1 comment:

  1. this is amazing news, thank you for sharing. i need to crawl out from under my rock.