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Sample of malaria vaccine SPf66, Colombia, 1988

The first anti-malaria vaccine was produced in 1987 by Dr Manuel Patarroyo (b. 1946) and colleagues in Bogotá, Columbia. This is a sample of the vaccine. The bottle of vaccine was used in the first Colombian field trials on military volunteers in 1988. The vaccine only offers protection from the deadliest strain of malaria, Plasmodium falciparum. Clinical trials of the vaccine were disappointing as it was found to be only thirty per cent effective against malaria. Despite this SPf66 is still the most effective vaccine developed against the disease. It is shown here with an orange syringe prefilled with the vaccine (1994-447).

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Glossary: sample

Individual units, segments, or small quantities taken as evidence of the quality or character of the entire group or lot

Glossary: malaria

Parasitic disease transmitted by certain kinds of mosquito. Malaria is characterized by fever and enlargement of the spleen. Each year, there are approximately 515 million cases of malaria, killing between one and three million people.

Glossary: vaccine

A substance given to humans or animals to improve immunity from disease. A vaccine can sometimes contain a small amount of bacteria that is designed to stimulate the body's reaction to that particular disease. The first vaccine was developed in 1796 by Edward Jenner to prevent smallpox.

Glossary: materia medica

A Latin medical term sometimes used to refer to medical substances.