KCMC to study impact of geographical variations on vaccines efficacy

KILIMANJARO Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) is conducting research to study geographic differences in vaccine efficacy after reports of changes in efficiency of some jabs due to geographical variations.

A medical doctor and laboratory scientist at the centre, Dr Jeremia Pyuza, said here recently that studies had demonstrated a drop in the efficacy of some vaccines, due to a number of factors.

Dr Pyuza, who was commenting on the research aimed at comparing and contrasting the efficacy of vaccines for urban dwellers and those living in rural areas, singled out the Malaria vaccine as a perfect example in geographic differences in the efficacy of the vaccine.

“For example, Malaria vaccine has shown to be effective by more than 90 per cent in developed countries such as the United States while the effectiveness of the same vaccine is 40 per cent in developing countries such as Kenya,” he observed.

According to the health expert, a vaccine’s efficacy and effectiveness could vary from one geographical area to the other, prompting KCMC, through its clinical arm, Kilimanjaro Clinical research Institute (KCRI) to embark research on the issue.

“Titled ‘Capturing Variation in the Immune System and Vaccine Response between Urban and Rural in Tanzania’, the study is conducted in partnership with the Netherlands based Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), and will help people get right vaccines in their rightful environment,” he explained.

KCMC Internal Medicine specialist Dr Elichilia Shao underscored the importance of the study in fighting infectious diseases.

“Vaccines are one of the most successful modern methods of treatment and they are the result of the growth of technology in the field of medicine; vaccines have become a great hope in fighting infectious diseases as well as those which are preventable such as cervical and liver cancer,” he noted.

According to Dr Shao, since Tanzania continues to receive millions of vaccines every year procured to the tune of millions, it was imperative to gauge their efficacies before administering them on human beings.

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