The Therapy Sessions
Monday, October 18, 2004
Malaria Vaccine Proves Effective
For the first time, researchers say, a vaccine against malaria has shown that it can save children from infection or death.
The vaccine, tested on thousands of children in Mozambique, was hardly perfect: It protected them from catching the disease only about 30 percent of the time and prevented it from becoming life-threatening only about 58 percent of the time.
This is good news because it proves that it is theoretically possible to make a malaria vaccine.
It is terrible news for GSK, because they will be expected now to provide this vaccine at a loss.
I once listened to a very rich woman prattling on about the importance of ending the scourge of river blindness in the Third World. I agreed with her, and told her that for $10,000, she make a practical difference: working through established charities, she could buy enough Ivermectin to cure thousands of people infected with river blindness.
Of course, that wasn't what she wanted to hear. She wanted a political solution, and credit for getting other people to pay for it.
Soon legions of the similarly clueless people will descend on GSK. They will say that GSK must must labor for them so that they can take credit for saving lives.
The Gates Foundation - which understands how useless these people are - is the reason that the vaccine has even gotten this far. It would be wonderful if they will pay for all the needed doses - year after year - but that is up to them.
If the UN, WHO, and various NGO's get involved, I feel sorry for GSK.