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Health Highlights: Nov. 9, 2012

Malaria Vaccine Only 30 Percent Effective in Infants: Study'GM' Food Labeling Supporters Upbeat Despite California Loss

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Malaria Vaccine Only 30 Percent Effective in Infants: Study

An ongoing study shows that an experimental GlaxoSmithKline malaria vaccine once thought to show promise is only about 30 percent effective at protecting infants aged 6 to 12 weeks from the deadly disease.

Study results released last year suggested that the vaccine reduced malaria risk by about half in slightly older children. Even that is far below the protection provided from most vaccines, the Associated Press reported.

The vaccine's protection levels are "unacceptably low," according to Dr. Jennifer Cohn, a medical coordinator at Doctors Without Borders.

The latest study included more than 6,500 infants in Africa who received the three-shot vaccine regimen. The findings were presented Friday at a conference in South Africa and published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study, funded by GlaxoSmithKline and the PATH Malaria Initiative, is expected to continue until 2012, the AP reported.


'GM' Food Labeling Supporters Upbeat Despite California Loss

After suffering a defeat on a ballot measure in California on Tuesday, advocates for the labeling of genetically modified foods pledged to carry their fight to other states.

The measure that would have made California the first state to require such labeling was defeated 53.1 percent to 46.9 percent, The New York Times reported.

Despite the defeat, proponents of the measure said they were encouraged it received 4.3 million votes in support, even though they were outspent about five-to-one by food and biotechnology companies that opposed the measure.

The labeling advocates are now gathering signatures to place a similar measure on the ballot in Washington state next year, the Times reported.

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