To a technical community accustomed to other vaccines that routinely provide 80%, 90%, or even 95% protection, the new potential Malaria vaccine's level of protective efficacy is considered almost disappointing.
The development of the world's first vaccine against malaria is an extraordinary scientific breakthrough, but there are several reasons to be cautious about the difference this vaccine could make, on the basis of current results.
We have never had a vaccine for a parasitic disease, and the scientific complexity is dizzying. But at this week's Malaria Forum, I was pleased to announce the interim results of a trial for a vaccine candidate.
Nobody knows why Cambodia's malaria parasites are such buffed-up hyper-Darwinian winners. Some scientists think it's because the treatments have been used there so long that the parasites have a head-start.