Malaria and RNA vaccines

In 2019, malaria killed over 400,000 people. 94% of those deaths were in Africa. The best vaccine available today is only 30% effective.

That may change in the next two years.

Building on mRNA techniques used in the COVID-19 vaccine, researchers have identified a promising candidate. It marks the highest ever protection studied in lab mice.

Malaria is a difficult illness to treat. And, traditional vaccine methods haven’t cut it. RNA based vaccines, however, are promising (this article has more on this). Success with the COVID-19 vaccine has ushered in a promising wave of vaccine research for HIV, Cancer, and Multiple Sclerosis among others.

mRNA technology represents a giant leap forward. I think we’re going to see many more such promising vaccine candidates in the next 3-5 years.

In the long run, it may well be the single biggest positive outcome from the COVID-19 pandemic.