GlaxoSmithKline’s malaria vaccine is possibly better than nothing — but even in the best light, it’s still dilly-dallying.
The GSK-supported PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative reports in the New England Journal of Medicine that its RTS,S vaccine reduced the incidence of severe malaria by 50% in a population of African children. The immunity provided to the fortunate 50% by the vaccine, however, may wane over time. The vaccine did not reduce the number of malaria deaths, but it’s still too early to draw any conclusions.
The 50-50-chance-of-at-least-temporary-immunity-from-severe-malaria result seems to be encouraging and, if you throw in bed nets, what’s not to like — right? Wrong.
Our view is that the most effective, most direct and least expensive solution to the green-supported malarial genocide is the application of ample insecticides — preferably safe, effective and low-cost ones like DDT.
Short of this, we are simply navel-gazing while out-of-sight, out-of-mind Africans die largely preventable deaths, social structure is decimated and economic development is crippled.