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Dr. Michel Van Herp, an epidemiologist with the aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres, said a vaccine might have to be more effective than the GlaxoSmithKline candidate has been shown to be so far to be worth the effort of putting it in use. But he acknowledged that matching the effectiveness of the polio vaccine has proven difficult, and said a partially effective vaccine "at least will reduce the workload on the health sector."
Medecins Sans Frontieres, also known as Doctors Without Borders, is not involved in vaccine research, but is at the forefront of treating malaria among the poor in Africa and elsewhere.
The vaccine would have to be used along with preventive measures like mosquito nets and insecticides to save lives.
Dr. Eusebio Macete, who is director of the Manhica Research Centre in Mozambique and was involved in some of the early field trials, said stopping any percentage of the disease would be welcomed in areas "where people are dying every day of malaria."
"It's a huge, huge burden, this disease," Macete said. "Whatever percentage we can get will be useful in reducing the impact of the disease."
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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