While the effectiveness is less than 50%, it still has to save many lives. The decision follows a program that began in 2019 in three African countries and eventually vaccinated more than 800,000 children.
This may not sound like much, especially compared to the numbers we've all seen in a slew of COVID-19 vaccines. But the World Health Organization estimates that more than a quarter of a million children under the age of five die each year in Africa alone from malaria, and many become seriously ill. In this way, even 30% of the effectiveness can have a significant effect. These include vaccines that are available to people, even those that are difficult to obtain and cost-effective.
However, its wider distribution now depends on the international health community, which is currently seeking funding and resources to ensure that developing countries have an adequate vaccine for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, preliminary trials of additional vaccines with higher efficacy have been conducted. If these findings hold up in larger trials and in real use in Africa, RTS,S,S could be the first in a chain of good news for one of humanity's killers.
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