Malaria is a widespread disease in the tropics with flare-ups of fever, often nausea and vomiting. Research into an effective vaccine against the disease has been going on for more than a hundred years. Why is it so difficult to develop an effective malaria vaccine?
Billions of people live in malaria regions – and those who contracted the tropical disease in the corona pandemic were often treated even worse than those previously infected: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 241 million people suffered from malaria in 2020, and 627,000 died. That was fourteen million more sick people and 69,000 additional deaths compared to 2019, the year before Corona.
At the same time, there is hope: in 2021, the WHO gave the green light for a malaria vaccine for the first time. This vaccine is now being tested in large child trials south of the Sahara. No vaccine candidate had ever made it this far – despite the fact that research has been going on for more than a hundred years.