Watershed Vaccine May End Malaria Toll

If trials work as expected, shots could save millions of children
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2008 1:45 AM CST
A mother gently places her son in a basket, to take him to a clinic in Sudan to be treated for malaria. A new vaccine could save millions of children's lives.    (AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo, File)
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(Newser) – Scientists have developed a promising vaccine against malaria, a devastating disease that kills a milion people a year, most of them young children. Trials of the breakthrough vaccine enter the final phase next year and it could be widely available by 2012, reports the Los Angeles Times. Successful trials have been conducted in Kenya and Tanzania.

Developing a vaccine against malaria, which is carried by mosquitos, had been thought impossible. If the final trials are successful, "it would be an extraordinary scientific triumph," said a spokesman fro the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which helped fund the research. "It could save millions of children's lives."