Malaria Vaccine Now on Its Final Testing Stages

June 19, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. vaccine / vækˈsin / (n.) – a substance injected into a person to prevent a particular disease
Example: The clinic offers vaccines for measles and mumps.

2. infant / ˈɪn fənt / (n.) – a baby
ExampleInfants can be susceptible to diseases.

3. effectiveness / ɪˈfɛktɪvnəs / (n.) – the degree or extent of something’s success
Example: We need to measure the treatment’s effectiveness.

4. licensed / ˈlaɪsn̩st / (adj.) – being authorized to practice or possess something
Example: There is only one licensed doctor in the community.

5. prescribed / prɪˈskraɪbd / (adj.) – advised by an expert (e.g. doctor)
Example: The prescribed medicine for his allergies is not available.


Read the text below.
A malaria [muh-LAIR-ee-uh] vaccine called RTS,S is now on its final stages of testing.

RTS,S is the first malaria vaccine to reach this far in terms of testing. Scientists at the GlaxoSmithKline [GLAK-soh-smith-klahyn] laboratories created this vaccine in 1987. In partnership with other research institutes, scientists continued to develop the vaccine so it can be used in sub-Saharan Africa, where around 1,300 children are killed by malaria every day.

According to the results of the tests, the vaccine had a better effect on young children than infants. However, the treatment’s effectiveness lessens in both groups over time. Brian Greenwood, a professor of Clinical Tropical Medicine, said that although this is the case, the RTS,S has still shown its benefits.

For every 1,000 vaccinated children, an average of 1,363 malaria cases, some of which were repeated, was prevented over four years. Using a booster shot, around 1,774 cases were avoided during the same period. And for every 1,000 vaccinated infants, an average of 558 cases was prevented over three years, while 983 cases were avoided with the help of booster shots.

Should the European Medicines Agency give its approval, the World Health Organization might consider recommending the use of the vaccine in October this year.

While there is currently no licensed vaccine for malaria yet, anti-malarial medications are already available. In the United States, the four most commonly prescribed medications include Aralen, Lariam [LAIR-yuhm], Vibramycin [VAHY-bruh-MAHY-sin], and Malarone [mah-luh-rohn]. These drugs are usually prescribed to people who plan on traveling to countries where malaria is common.

Malaria can also arise even after a person has left a malaria-prone area. To prevent this, a physician from Harvard Medical School also recommends taking a drug called primaquine upon returning home.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think the malaria vaccine should be made available to the public? Why or why not?
·         In your opinion, why is malaria rampant in Africa?

Discussion B

·         What are some other vaccines that you wish existed?
·         If you could develop a vaccine, what would it be and why?

June 19, 2015