In the meantime, researchers are encouraged that the vaccine has proved especially effective in protecting the most vulnerable population: babies. In conjunction with other proven methods—treated bed nets and DDT spraying, as mandated by the Mozambican government—it could slash malaria infections and deaths in children. "We may be seeing the synergy that we would predict would exist between vaccination and other modalities of malaria control," Ballou says.
And the vaccine may also provide broader benefits: "A vaccine acts as a magnet, drawing in multiple generations of a family for basic services when the children come to get vaccinated," Mozambique's Mocumbi says. "When we protect children we are investing for the future of our nation."