First malaria vaccine rolled out in Africa—despite limited efficacy and nagging safety concerns
Science "In a small room at the Phalula Health Centre in southern Malawi's Balaka district, two young mothers are sitting on a wooden bench, each with a 5-month-old baby on their lap. Across from them, behind a desk, sits Alfred Kaponya, a community health worker. A colleague is busy preparing a vaccine, tapping the syringe to dislodge bubbles. Kaponya explains the procedure to the women, writes down the vaccines' serial numbers in the children's vaccination booklets, and copies them onto a spreadsheet in his binder.
(...) The pilot is not a clinical trial, but a closely monitored vaccination campaign to collect more data to make sure Mosquirix is safe and effective before wider introduction. "I think the pilot is a scientific and pragmatic way to move forward," says Marcel Tanner, a former director of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basel who has been involved in several clinical studies with the vaccine. "It is a way to monitor all the aspects of the vaccine and watch if something happens." (Photo: Sanofi Pasteur/flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)