The trial performed in children aged 5 to 17 months showed that three doses of RTS,S reduced the risk of clinical malaria by 56 % and of severe malaria by 47%. New results following the vaccination of infants aged 6 to 12 weeks show the vaccine to be moderately effective, producing a 31 % reduction in the risk of malaria in this population, and a 37 % of severe malaria.
These findings, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), will be announced at the International African Vaccinology Conference (VACFA) in South Africa.
The new results about efficacy and safety belong to the monitoring performed for 12 months in 6,537 infants aged 6 to 12 weeks. The RTS,S vaccine was coadministered alongside the vaccines routinely given to infants at 2, 3 and 4 months of age. The trial is ongoing in eleven research centres in seven sub-Saharan African countries, including the Manhiça Health Research Centre in Mozambique. Currently, the CRESIB (also named ISGlobal, affiliated centre with the campus of international excellence HUBc), is now coordinating the immunology studies of RTS,S, which will give us a better understanding of the mechanisms of protection and may open the door to improvements in this and other vaccines.