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Backing for malaria vaccine

Monday July 27th, 2015

A malaria vaccine has gained a key backer for its introduction in countries plagued by the disease, it has been announced.

The European Medicines Agency said it had a "positive" scientific opinion for the vaccine, Mosquirix.

It makes it the first ever vaccine to be assessed by a regulatory agency.

The agency says it is evaluating the vaccine for use outside the EU using a procedure to help improve access to new medicines for people outside Europe.

A major trial in seven African countries found the vaccine prevented malaria developing in 56% of infants aged between five and 17 months - and in 31% of babies aged between six and 12 weeks.

The World Health Organisation said that 2017 was likely to be the earliest the vaccine could be licensed in any country where the disease is endemic.

A spokesman said: "These include feasibility of implementation, affordability and cost-effectiveness, and the public health value of the vaccine in relation to other available malaria control measures and vaccines.

"Any financing for this vaccine must not draw resources away from scaling up bednets, effective drugs and rapid diagnostic tests for malaria. Careful coordination between financing agencies will be needed."

Tags: Africa | Europe | Pharmaceuticals | World Health

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