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A malaria vaccine has proved to be 77% effective in early trials and could be a major breakthrough against the disease, say its developers from the University of Oxford.

Malaria kills more than 400,000 people a year, mostly children in sub-Saharan Africa.

But despite many vaccines being trialled over the years, none has met the required target for success.

The researchers say the vaccine could have a major public health impact.

When trialled in 450 children in Burkina Faso, the vaccine was found to be safe, and showed “high-level efficacy” over 12 months of follow-up.