The World’s First Malaria Vaccine Gets a Shot in Africa | SciShow News

The World’s First Malaria Vaccine Gets a Shot in Africa | SciShow News

♪♪♪ Malaria is one of those diseases that’s
been around for so long that you’d think we’d have figured out how to deal with it
by now. And yet, it still kills almost half a million
people every year — and most of those people are kids. One of the main reasons it’s still so deadly is that scientists have struggled to create an effective vaccine for it. But last week, the World Health Organization
announced that a malaria vaccine has finally made it over all the regulatory hurdles, and is now being given out in the African country of Malawi. And it’ll be rolled out in Kenya and Ghana
as well later this year. For this pilot program, the vaccine will be
available to children under the age of two and will hopefully reach 360,000 kids a year across the three countries. And though it isn’t going to eradicate the
disease overnight, if all goes well, this vaccine could become one of the most important weapons in the war against malaria one that might actually give us a fighting chance. You see, we’ve never had a malaria vaccine good enough to be implemented before. This one, known as RTS,S, has been in the
works for 30 years. It’s simply taken that long to develop the
vaccine, get it working in animal models, test it for safety and effectiveness in people, and then to make the big decision to start piloting it. And here’s the thing: this vaccine isn’t
that amazing, either. In clinical trials, it was only about 40%
effective, which is way, way less than, say, the MMR vaccine for measles, which works in 93% of cases after just one dose, and 97% after two The low effectiveness was a disappointment to many scientists when it was first published, and it’s not the only drawback to this particular vaccine. To get that 40% protection, kids have to have
three doses plus a booster. That’s a lot of shots, which means it’s
harder to ensure kids get through the whole vaccination process. Also, it works best in kids 5 to 17 months
old. For younger infants, it was less effective. But health experts are still pretty excited about moving forward with it, because they believe that it has the potential to save tens of
thousands of children’s lives. And to be honest, it’s the best we’ve
got. Because it’s been really, really challenging
to make a malaria vaccine that works at all. There’s a few reasons for that. One of them is that it’s not a lucrative
market for pharmaceutical companies, since malaria disproportionately affects poorer parts of the world. It’s kind of lousy, but there you have it. And those who have dedicated the time and resources have come up against wall after wall. Like, right off the bat there’s a challenge,
because actually, like, getting malaria doesn’t confer lifelong immunity, like with some other diseases. That’s not a good sign when you’re trying
to come up with a vaccine for something, since vaccines work by essentially triggering a
person’s natural immunity without them having to live through the disease. Most vaccines expose people to small, harmless amounts of whatever causes the disease so that their immune system can learn to recognize
it and build up antibodies. Those are y-shaped immune proteins which bind tightly to things, flagging them for destruction by your immune system. And if your body has these antibodies against a particular pathogen, it can deploy them rapidly in the face of a future infection. But malaria can subvert this defense mechanism. And that’s in part because it’s not caused
by a virus or bacteria. Instead, it’s caused by several species
of parasites from the genus Plasmodium. And while they are single cells, they’re
way more complex genetically than your average pathogen. Not only are there multiple species—within a given species, there can be multiple phenotypes Exactly what they look like can vary from
individual to individual, which makes it that much harder for the immune system to find them reliably. And they have this complicated life cycle
that takes place in both the mosquito and in different parts of the human body. Humans get infected when they’re bitten
by a mosquito that’s carrying the parasites. These then make themselves at home in the liver for a while to grow and reproduce. They can stay dormant for weeks or years there before making their way into red blood cells. That’s where they multiply again by a slightly different mechanism, which kills the red blood cells in the process. This is the phase of malaria that causes all the symptoms, and that can be lethal. And the parasites look different during all
these different stages—there’s no single antibody that binds to them all. Basically, there’s a lot going on, and that
makes it hard to decide what to train the immune system to respond to. So a malaria vaccine is a pretty big ask—which is why RTS,S is so exciting. It protects specifically against the species
which causes the deadliest form of malaria. And it does that by helping the body develop antibodies against a protein called circumsporozoite or CS protein. It’s a protein the parasite secretes during
that first stage of malaria, when the parasites infect the liver, because it helps them get inside of liver cells. Part of the reason that the vaccine is only
40% effective is because it targets a particular version or allele of the CS protein. It’s slightly more effective against parasites with that allele, and slightly less effective against parasites that have other versions. What’s cool about targeting this stage of
the disease is that if the parasites don’t take up residence in the liver, they can’t go on to infect the bloodstream and cause symptoms. But it’s not necessarily the only stage
or the only protein that makes sense to target. In fact, scientists have argued that the CS
protein might not be the best choice— it might not play an important role in the gradual acquisition of natural immunity that some people get after having malaria multiple times, for example. And in the end, combining this vaccine with vaccines that act on other parts of the parasites’ life cycle might someday be the most effective way to combat infections. In the meantime, doctors are working with
what they’ve got. Right now, malaria kills a child every two
minutes… and that awful stat is actually a big improvement over the damage it used to inflict. Many lives are already saved by preventative measures like bed nets sprayed with bug repellents, preventative medication dolled out during
the mosquito season, and the use of insecticides in homes. Having one more weapon against the parasites, no matter how imperfect, could make a big difference. If the pilot programs in Malawi, Kenya, and Ghana do reduce deaths, the vaccine could become a more permanent part of many countries’ health programs. And it could help stimulate funding for further vaccine development. This may not be the malaria vaccine to end all malaria vaccines, but it could be exactly what we need to tide us over while a more effective eradication strategy is developed. Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow News! And a special thank you to all of our channel
members. Those are the people in the comments with
those little badges next to their screennames and that’s just one of the perks of being a
member. Channel members also get access to our members-only
posts in the community tab, where we post fun things like behind the scenes pictures. Let me take one right now. I’m going to take a behind the scenes picture
that we’re gonna post on the channel tab. Wave hi! Hi! Caitlin: I thought you were taking a selfie! Hank: (laughs) Plus, they get exclusive emojis to use in
live chats. And their support helps ensure that we can
keep making educational science videos like this one. If that sounds like something you’d like
to be a part of, the Join button below has all the details. ♪♪♪

99 thoughts on “The World’s First Malaria Vaccine Gets a Shot in Africa | SciShow News

  1. I was just think like Friday how stupid it is that people here (in America) are denying vaccines bringing back diseases and people in Afica or some thing cant even get the vaccine for malaria then I was like wait do we have a vaccine for it then I assumed yeah ofc we do

  2. I've had malaria twice (on separate trips to East Africa). It's nasty. So glad to hear this kind of progress. (And, my memory of the stats for how many malaria would kill per year used to be twice what it is now, so the other progress is encouraging too).

  3. those stupid people in Africa are just going to think that the doctors are trying to poison their kids and kill the doctors like they have been doing in Africa for years

  4. World News: After several months researchers are now confident the Zombie virus started in Malawi and linked it to the recent Malaria vaccine.
    The good news, they say they have a cure. The bad news, it's too late everybody died except for the Zombies.

  5. I've had malaria when I was a kid.
    40% is better than nothing. Not perfect, but better than nothing.

  6. Jeepers creepers. This is really good news. This is gonna save hundreds of thousands of lives.

  7. Why spend 30 years making a vaccine which only targets 1 allele of a gene when you know other alleles are already common? Surely those parasites with the vulnerable allele are just going to get outcompeted and in a few years all the malaria in Africa will carry the resistant alleles?

  8. This video really surprised me. Especially since I've had a friend who claimed to be vaccinated against malaria for a vacation a few years ago… Only they drank the vaccine instead of injecting it (this is just based on what they told me, not claiming its true)

  9. Should have been like "by the time you finish watching this video 3 children have already died from Malaria" over Angel by Sarah McLachlan

  10. Countries in Africa have people with high IQs because they have no vaccines. In the west the vast majority of the population is brain damaged from vaccines. Vaccines contain dangerous ingredients such as various forms of mercury, aluminium and formaldehyde. Those are proven neurotoxins and carcinogens.
    It’s better to kill all the mosquitoes.

  11. Now all we need is for a Kardashian or maybe Pewdiepie to say malaria vaccines cause, let's say, depression, and for Jim Carrey to publicly support it, and we're off again.

  12. It soubds less ljke a vaccine and more like a medication. ‘Cause a vaccine prevents the disease from happening but medication stops the dease after you already have it.

  13. I'm sure the biggest challenge to getting rid of malaria is going to be the anti-vaxxers.

  14. The fearmongering anti – vaxxers are going to kill a lot of children if they get their way.

  15. Wonder if all the black people will thank the overwhelingly white scientists that saved thier children's lives, or if they will continue to take white people's land away based on skin color…

  16. "Those are the people in the comments with the little badges"

    I scrolled down for a minute straight and only saw one (maybe, it was a screw)

  17. This was really interesting. My husband and I went to India last year and had to take the preventive medicine for malaria for almost a month. I had wondered why most diseases had vaccines and malaria didn’t. Knowing how hard it is to make a vaccine for malaria made this discovery all the more exciting. Hopefully it is just the first step to eradicating malaria for good.

  18. Yikes the comments, people have a difficult time discussing things whenever there is even a remotely controversial or politicized topic. I have higher hopes for humanity.

  19. "It has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives…" so they can grow up starving and impoverished? Africa has worse problems that need more attention. This will just increase the amount of starving, suffering children.

  20. I am a dentist from India and my mom dad are both allopathic doctors. I had materia atleast five times in childhood. But after that, I have become surprisingly resistant to maleria. I mean now I visit places with swarms of mosquitoes but don't catch maleria. I would also like to add that one good thing about maleria is that once diagnosed(which is fairly easy because of the tell-tale symptoms), can be treated with great success with commonly available and very cheap drugs.

  21. Not to be crass, but we need to figure out better long term birth control options. The number of children surviving is great, but it can lead to exponential population growth down the line. Having access to affordable birth control had a direct correlation to quality of life for the society in general, but women in particular see vast improvements in opportunities.
    Idk. I plan on never having children of my own because I think that there are already too many people, and that we as a species have acted as poor stewards to the planet. I'm really lucky to have that as an option and still be able to have a relationship and get married. I'm fortunate that if I ever did change my mind, that I can choose when I want to start a family. That I can be sure that I am financially stable, my health is good, and I live in a safe environment where my potential children would have the best chance to thrive. In the mean time, I can get an education, get a job, put away savings, buy a home, travel the world, become more emotionally mature… The list goes on. I just wish that every person had the same choices available for them. And I wish the options were better for everyone. I think it's just as important as stopping disease. Both save lives.

  22. Science look look at the genome/cell bodies of people who have been infected by malaria, and who are immune to it, and see how their immune systems reacted

  23. "Not a lucrative market" never was and it still is not a valid argument. Vaccines are very much profitable, including those used in poor countries.

  24. SAWBO – Helping to fulfill on #sdg, #sdg3, #sdg4, #sdg10, #Malaria #Prevention: watch here: #download and share here:

  25. What will they do when their primary caregivers in the west are all replaced by other groups without the ability to civilize or develop basic standards of living?

  26. Hank HERE IS THE CDC LIST OF SIDE EFFECTS www DOT cdc DOT gov/vaccines/vac-gen/side-effects DOT htm Have your kids tested for potential allergic reactions if you are scared of the harsh side effects. If your kid is prone to allergic reactions than I really recommend getting an allergy test done, And if there is no allergy test for modern vaccines than you just got the short end of the stick.

  27. Two vaccines I'm waiting for are malaria and lyme. Lyme disease vaccines exist for humans and pets, and work well in pets, but cause arthritis in humans. Lyme disease shots for humans are no longer produced and I live in a spot where deer and deer ticks are overpopulated, with the ratio of infected deer ticks to non-infected deer ticks is over 4x higher than average. Malaria is super rare where I live, but it still exists and I am unlucky enough to have O-type blood (a favourite blood type for mosquitoes) and live in a swamp (which is where mosquitoes come from).

  28. Is the 40% effective rate for a healthy immune system? Probably even less for the typical malaria contractor.

  29. What's the progress of scientists developing genetically modified male mosquitoes to produce only male offspring? I heard they were working on it but haven't heard about it since.


  31. People in Africa: "Praise the heavens! There's finally a more tangible means of combating this deadly disease medically, even if it isn't perfect…"
    Anti-Vaxers in the US: "Me? Trust SCIENCE?!? Hell no! I'M going to protect my children the responsible way! By doing nothing at all, or intentionally infecting them with the disease using lollipops, washcloths, and other objects covered in the bodily fluids like the vomit of infected people sent to me by other parents/strangers and crossing my fingers that they don't die!"

  32. Is it safe? Because in the case of dengue vaccine have side effect many kids in the Philippines died due to the vaccine.

  33. Climate change denial should be illegal as illegal as yelling BOMB or FIRE in a theater when there is no fire.

  34. Africans will have nothing to do with your strategic neurological assault on the brain. Americans enjoy their fluoride and aluminum, and they don't even value the family unit anymore, only their phones, easily convinced to inject their temple with chemical.

  35. Hmmm… I wonder how effective the malaria pills were to prevent me from getting malaria? I didn’t know malaria was so hard to vaccinate against. But I can’t say a studied up on the stats of this illness to know much about it (besides its prevalence in Africa and it being spread by a female mosquito)

  36. But my doctor gave me a medicine in case I get malaria during my travels, why cant we make the medicine affordable for the population?

  37. I don't want to sound like a horrible, uncaring, insensitive jerk….but wouldn't all the saved lives in Africa put an immense strain on their basic living essentials resources? And then wouldn't this only inflate their current crime rate as more people compete and fight just to live….

    …just sayin'

  38. Great now you've doomed all the wild animals and trees in Africa. Overpopulation will destroy everything.

  39. It's sad but it probably took so long since the drug companies know they won't get much $$$ from it, since it will mostly be administered in Africa.
    They'd rather reaserch female viagra, or a pill that makes you skinny, that will bring in more $$$ since it will mostly be sold in America.

  40. Speaking as a Malaria survivor, this is excellent news. I tried commenting when this video first posted but for reasons I can't explain, it kept failing. I have a persistent form of malaria that keeps coming back occasionally to make me miserable for a week or so. Not fun. I hope the tests in Africa work well, because after that they will hopefully get this medicine and others based on it spread around the world, including here in the Philippines!

  41. Wow i just reported some one and the entire feed went away, I guess its pending investigation LMAO!

  42. One of the reasons it’s still so deadly and mainly affects kids it because mothers wouldn’t vaccinate their STUPID BRATS!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *