Anti-Malaria Vaccine: Is it Required and Is it Effective?

Malaria is a disease caused by an infection from a parasite, which gets passed to humans through mosquito bites. Each manifestation of Malaria is different and may range from uncomplicated to severe, depending on the scale of symptoms observed in the patient. Doctors will typically classify a case as uncomplicated if the symptoms are not life threatening and do not endanger the function of vital organs in the body. Severe malaria, however, can be dangerous and may present symptoms like fever and chills, convulsions, and abnormal bleeding, among others.

While there is still no official malaria vaccine on the market, there are a few anti-malarial medications which can be taken to prevent contracting the disease. It is particularly important to get proper medication from your healthcare provider if you are travelling to a place where there is a risk for malaria.

Is Medication Necessary?
Getting anti-malarial medication may be a prerequisite when travelling to destinations where malaria is present. Make sure to consult with Miles pharmacists in order to know which specific medication to take since this will depend on your destination, health condition, and other medication you may be taking. In most cases, you should start taking your anti-malarials a few days before you travel and continue for up to four weeks after you return. The exact instructions will depend on your prescribed medication and doctor’s instructions.

Visiting a travel health clinic in Kingston may be beneficial to get the right medication for your trip. Even if it is not your first time undergoing Malaria Vaccination, it is important that you gain professional advice since you may need a different type of medicine depending on your travel destination. In some cases, you may also be asked to do a short trial course to ensure you do not have any adverse side effects to the medicine.

Is Medication Effective?
Anti Malaria Preventions primarily consist of medication like atovaquone plus proguanil, doxycycline, and mefloquine. These are said to reduce the risk by up to 90%, and while they are not 100% effective, they are still considered beneficial since no injection has been released as of yet. In addition to taking preventative medicine, you must also take proactive steps like wearing insect repellent, long sleeves and protecting your sleeping area with a net to keep mosquitoes away to help reduce the risk of malaria.