The Malaria Vaccine Will Drastically Improve Lives Across the World Malaria is a dangerous disease spread by mosquitoes. It has been treatable with medication for decades, but only recently has a vaccine been made available for the disease. This vaccine is going to change lives drastically in Africa, Asia, and across the world. It's great news for anyone who has ever caught malaria, and especially those at risk. A vaccine could help reduce the spread and therefore the risk of malaria, which devastates many communities. The vaccine is already being made available to people, and it is effective. The vaccine could prevent as many as four out of every ten cases of malaria, and three out of every ten severe cases. How does the vaccine work? Malaria is a parasite that destroys cells in order to reproduce, spreading through the "spit" of mosquitoes, infecting the person. This vaccine specifically targets Plasmodium falciparum, the most deadly and common parasite in many parts of Africa and Asia. This vaccine partially blocks the parasites' access into human cells and therefore prevents disease. It is effective at four doses, given a month apart at five, six, and seven months old, and a final booster around 18 months. Children are at the most risk for malaria, so it is logical to vaccinate them first. Unlike adults, they have not had a chance to build up immunity. The company making the vaccine, GSK, hasn't released information about how much the vaccine will cost. Largely vaccination campaigns rely on international support and support from donors. The company's pilot programs in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi are in progress, and the company says it has donated 10 million doses for the study. A quarter of those doses have been used. GSK is committed to providing 15 million doses a year. More doses could be made available by 2022 or early 2023. Researchers estimate that 100 million doses may be needed every year by the end of the decade. The vaccine will be given along with other routine immunizations. It is a real step forward in the battle against malaria and other infectious diseases.