Controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) studies involve the deliberate infection of healthy volunteers with malaria parasites under controlled conditions to study immune responses and/or test drug or vaccine efficacy. An empirical ethics study was embedded in a CHMI study at a Kenyan research programme to explore stakeholders’ perceptions and experiences of deliberate infection and moral implications of these.
RTS,S/AS01 is the first vaccine against malaria to undergo pilot implementation, beginning in 2019 and vaccinating 360,000 children per year in Malawi, Ghana, and Kenya. The four-dose vaccine is given as a primary three-dose series with a fourth dose given approximately 18 months later. The efficacy of RTS,S/AS01 was variable among the 11 sites participating in the 2009–2014 phase III trial (MALARIA-055, NCT00866619), possibly due to differences in transmission intensity. However, a within-site examination of environmental factors related to transmission intensity and their impact on vaccine efficacy has yet to be conducted.