Lilongwe — Malawi is spearheading large-scale pilot tests for the world's most advanced experimental malaria vaccine in a bid to prevent the disease that kills hundreds of thousands across Africa each year. After more than three decades in development and almost $1bn in investment, the cutting-edge trial will be rolled out in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe this week and in Kenya and Ghana next week. It aims to immunise 120,000 children aged 2 years and under to assess the effectiveness of the pilot vaccine and whether the delivery process is feasible. Four successive doses must be administered on a strict timetable for it to work. Trade-named Mosquirix, the drug has been developed by British pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline in partnership with the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative. It passed previous scientific testing — including five years of clinical trials on 15,000 people in seven countries — and was approved for the pilot programme in 2015. Malaria episodes reduced by 40% in th...

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