mRNA vaccines scope expands beyond COVID-19

While SARS-CoV-2 vaccines have been capturing the limelight, there has also been progress in other vaccines relevant to travel medicine

Need to know:

  • While much of the focus of late has been on COVID-19 mRNA vaccine developments, recent research shows that mRNA vaccines might also be effective for preventing influenza, Zika and rabies, as well as possibly treating cancer.
  • There have been encouraging results in trials of a tetravalent dengue vaccine in children, with reasonable efficacy against disease development and hospitalisation with dengue, without evidence of disease enhancement following vaccination.
  • Recommendations in favour of shorter or single-dose vaccine schedules for rabies vaccination may help address some of the barriers to pre-travel vaccination.
  • A groundbreaking pilot program of malaria vaccination in children in parts of sub-Saharan Africa has been associated with a 30% reduction in severe and potentially fatal malaria.

The remarkable and rapid progress on development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines has understandably dominated