A Hundred Years Without A Malaria Vaccine

By Carl Zimmer | May 7, 2010 9:00 am

mtsitunes220When I’ve traveled abroad, I’ve gotten my share of jabs for hepatitis and other diseases. But for malaria, the best I could hope for was to take malaria-blocking drugs like Lariam, which gave me weird dreams at night and made me feel as if someone was tugging my hair all day.

For people who live in countries with malaria, these prophylactic drugs just aren’t practical. Given that 800,000 people a year die of malaria, why don’t we have a good vaccine for it? It’s not for lack of trying–in fact, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the first attempts to make a malaria vaccine.

To understand this epic fail, I talked on my latest podcast with Irwin Sherman, a malaria expert and author of The Elusive Malaria Vaccine: Miracle or Mirage?.

Check it out.

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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.

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