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Boost for measles fight – Grants for Baltimore researchers

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The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded grants of $20 million each to researchers at the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University to develop a new measles vaccine to protect infants younger than nine months old.

Such a vaccine would radically reduce the death rate from measles in developing countries, the foundation says.

Measles kills more than 900,000 children each year in less developed parts of the world, according to the World Health Organization. While use of the current measles vaccine has saved the lives of millions of children, infants from five to eight months of age still are vulnerable.

Researchers at the University of Maryland Center will focus on the development of an oral or nasal vaccine, which will be easier to administer than the current injection, the foundation says.

At Johns Hopkins, scientists will work to develop a DNA vaccine by itself without using the entire measles virus.

For full story, go to Gates Foundation.

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