As COVID Rages on, the First Malaria Vaccine in History Gets Approval

Cristina Aldehuela/AFP/Getty

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Good news on the global health front is hard to come by, but the World Health Organization shared a big line of hope today by endorsing the first-ever malaria vaccine. The green light is a gamechanger for one of the oldest and deadliest diseases, which kills half a million people each year, predominantly kids under 5 years old in sub-Saharan Africa.

The vaccine moves the needle medically and potentially socially—if the rollout is accountable and equitable, a big if. And as COVID consumes wall-to-wall media coverage and eclipses the deadly contagions before it, there’s a welcome note of perspective in marking gains beyond COVID. In a search of MoJo archives, I came across a 2006 headline that asked, “Can Malaria Be Stopped?” The answer is coming into clearer focus.

The vaccine is not just a breakthrough for malaria. It’s the first for any parasitic disease. Keep an eye on MotherJones.com for broader analysis and updates, and let us know how this could affect your or your family’s lives at recharge@motherjones.com.

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