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HEALTH AND NUTRITION

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  • The world's arsenal against malaria just got a fancy new bazooka. But it's not the easiest weapon to deploy, it only hits its target 30 to 40% of the time, and it's not yet clear who's going to pay for it.

    The weapon in question is the RTS,S vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline, which on Wednesday got the green light from the World Health Organization for widespread use.

    This is not only the first authorized malaria vaccine, it's also the first vaccine ever approved for use against a parasitic disease in humans.

    The recommendation comes after RTS,S showed positive results in a pilot program in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi. The vaccine cut malaria cases by 40% and reduced hospitalizations of the potentially deadly disease by nearly a third.

     

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    Authored by:
    Jason Beaubien, NPR
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