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The Battle to Beat Malaria

In all medical science, there has been no longer, tougher battle than the fight against malaria.  It’s one of the world’s deadliest diseases—more than 600,000 people die of malaria every year, the vast majority of them children. But we’re now at an exciting turning point.

THE BATTLE TO BEAT MALARIA follows scientists—the same team behind the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine—as they develop and test R21/Matrix-M, a promising new malaria vaccine. Close to 150 previous efforts have ended in failure, and just one other vaccine has been approved. Will R21 survive the rigorous human trials and prove both safe and effective?

As the trial results come in from children around Africa, the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, makes a high-risk decision to produce tens of millions of doses of the low-cost vaccine, even before the World Health Organization approves it. It’s a financial gamble, but it could mean the difference between life or death for children about to face the next deadly rainy season.

The film tells the dramatic inside story of this historic breakthrough, and offers a raw, intimate look at the scientists, medics, and trial participants who are battling this deadly disease.