European Medicines Agency recommends first-ever license for a malaria vaccine

IndustriesAssociated Press

The European Medicines Agency is recommending that the world's leading malaria vaccine be licensed even though it is only about 30 percent effective and that protection fades over time.

In a statement published on Friday, the agency said it had "adopted a positive scientific opinion" for the vaccine's use outside the European Union, a regulatory process that helps speed new medicines to the market.

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The vaccine, known as Mosquirix, protects only about one-third of children though it might help protect some kids from getting the parasitic disease. There are about 200 million cases of malaria every year, mostly in African children.

Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the vaccine, which is intended for use in areas with high malaria rates.