Malaria is one of the biggest killers of children under five in the world, most of them in Africa. And so when, last year, we saw that results from a phase 3 clinical trial of a new malaria vaccine developed by the University of Oxford were imminent, we wanted to talk to the people behind it for The Conversation Weekly podcast.
Last week, those results were finally released (in pre-print), showing the vaccine had an efficacy of 75%. And days later, the World Health Organization recommended its use on children, making it the second vaccine to receive such approval since 2021 and raising the possibility of eradicating the disease within decades.
We spoke to Adrian Hill, chief investigator of the group behind the new malaria vaccine, who was also involved in developing the Oxford/Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccination. He told The Conversation Weekly all about the decades-long search for a way to prevent malaria, and why the new vaccine could be a gamechanger because of how easy it is to mass produce. You can listen to the podcast here and read excerpts of the interview here.