In recent years, two vaccines have proven successful. This is the story of R21. And it's as "ripped from the headlines"/"hot off the press" as an episode of NOVA can be. Some of the principal footage was shot in October, 2023.
This one packs a bit of hard-to-watch footage as a population of mosquitoes are "blood fed" on the arm of a researcher. I winced. It also shows a fairly powerful emotional moment when a researcher learns the results of a clinical trial. I confess that I go along for the ride such vignettes take us on.
The picture for a malaria vaccine is improving. I won't miss it if we can relegate it to the history books. The photo I used for the cover really is from Africa—I shot it in Botswana in 2014.
Malaria is one of humanity’s oldest and most devastating plagues. In many parts of the world, it remains an ever-present scourge that sickens or kills millions of people each year. What if it could finally be defeated? Now, scientists may be on the verge of a breakthrough with a promising vaccine in the final stages of testing and approval. Follow researchers on a quest to deliver humankind from one of the world’s deadliest diseases.