Think of vaccines and you might envision teary-eyed kids at the doctor’s office or flu clinic getting a cartoon character bandage on their arm after getting a shot. But there are plenty of reasons adults should get vaccines too.
The vaccines you need as an adult depend on everything from your age and lifestyle to high-risk medical conditions, travel plans, and which shots you’ve had in the past.
“Vaccination is as important for adults as it is for children, and yet many adults are not optimally...
A malaria vaccine must be specific to the Plasmodium species and also specific to the strain of parasite, such as the P. falciparum parasite.
Malaria immunity is stage-specific. This means that a vaccine that can kill a parasite at one stage of its life cycle may not be able to kill a parasite in another stage.
Malaria parasites may be able to change (mutate) quickly. This makes a vaccine ineffective.
A malaria vaccine must be able to provide immunity without causing significant side effects in the people who receive the vaccine.
The form of parasite that is injected by the mosquito can reach a human's liver in just 30 minutes.
Finding a vaccine is vital to decreasing the illness and death caused by malaria infection. More study is needed before people can rely on vaccines to protect them from malaria infection. Until a more effective vaccine is available, avoiding mosquito bites and using medicines are the only ways to prevent malaria infection. (For more information, see the Prevention and Medications sections of the topic Malaria.)
Blood-stage vaccines prevent or contain the malaria infection by limiting the growth of the malaria parasite in the bloodstream. Some vaccines are showing promise in clinical trials.1, 2, 3 But no blood-stage vaccine that can prevent malaria is available to the public yet.
Vaccines that prevent the spread of malaria
Vaccines are being tested that prevent the spread of malaria.4 The vaccine works by preventing the malaria parasites from developing inside a mosquito. So a mosquito that bites a person infected with malaria cannot pass the infection on to another person. The vaccine does not prevent or treat malaria in a person already infected.
In this article
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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