Human Exceptionalism

Millions of Reasons–Children Who Now Die of Malaria But Might Not If this Works Out–To Support Animal Research

A vaccine has been found that is 100 percent effective in preventing malaria in mice.  From the story:

A new malaria vaccine has been shown to provide 100% protection in mice. If it can approach that level in people, it could slash the toll from one of the world’s worst scourges, according to Stefan Kappe of Seattle Biomedical Research Institute (SBRI). “We’re shooting for 90%-plus protection,” said Kappe, who is the leader of the international collaboration behind the vaccine. “I am extremely optimistic this will work. The initial trials on Kappe’s vaccine are tentatively scheduled to start in January at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval is required.

Many experimental drugs falter in the leap from mouse to human. And even if all goes well, it will be nearly 10 years before the new vaccine would be ready to roll out, Kappe estimated. The $17-million project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has poured more than $1 billion into the fight against malaria in the developing world.

If potentially saving millions of children’s lives isn’t worth the sacrifice of these mice, than the sun doesn’t rise in the East.  We have duties to treat animal humanely. And they are important. But sometimes our duties to suffering humanity must come first.  This is one of those times.