The ongoing Ebola outbreak has infected and killed dozens of people in Uganda.national health authorities and] The World Health Organization (WHO) has announce plans Clinical trials of three Ebola vaccine candidates begin.Licensed Ebola vaccine existbut they are sudan ebola virus, The species that caused the outbreak.
Doses of the vaccine candidate are expected to be delivered to Uganda this week. The clinical trial is the latest effort to stop an outbreak that has spread to nine regions, including three populated areas, according to the World Health Organization.
The trial’s vaccine candidates include a bivalent (meaning it targets two strains) and two monovalent (each targets one strain): a bivalent adenovirus made by Oxford University and the Jenner Institute in the UK Vector vaccine, a monovalent adenoviral vector vaccine developed by the Sabin Vaccine Institute and a monovalent vaccine from the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.
As of November 21st, 141 confirmed cases and 55 confirmed deaths were reported. Of the 19 healthcare workers who were infected, seven died.
At the start of the current outbreak in Uganda, WHO officials said clinical trials of vaccine candidates with sufficient data would only proceed if more cases continued to be reported.But the agency later revealed that it was already in talks with vaccine developers and had an existing vaccine trial agreement that it had with the United States during previous outbreaks. zaire ebola virus A response is being prepared for an outbreak in Uganda.
Given the urgency of the Ebola outbreak in Uganda, WHO has asked the COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritization Working Group to rapidly assess Ebola vaccine candidates for inclusion in planned clinical trials in the region.In its report, the global health body said evaluators considered the safety, efficacy and logistics of the vaccine candidate recommend.
Ana Maria Henao-Restrepo, co-leader of the Epidemiological R&D Blueprint for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, explained that since there is no evidence that the new Ebola vaccine candidate is effective, vaccine doses will only be given to patients known to be at risk of infection. high
“That’s why we ran the trial,” Henao-Restrepo said. “If the data [suggest] If one or more of these vaccine candidates are effective, an independent panel of experts will participate in the trials, review the data and report to WHO and [Uganda’s] Ministry of Health,” she said.
If any of the three vaccines are found to be effective, regulators will begin the approval process and pave the way for commercialization. Meanwhile, the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) is expected to provide Uganda and other countries with public policy advice on vaccine use.
In total, only 1,200 doses of the vaccine will be used in the study, as approved by Uganda’s National Medicines Agency. Henao-Restrepo said the trial will target participants who are at highest risk of contracting Ebola due to the nature of their work and close contact with infected people, including healthcare workers. “We know from previous outbreaks that the risk of contracting Ebola is not the same,” she said. The risk to the general population is low, but “workers who come into contact with cases are at the highest risk of contracting Ebola.”
Ugandan health authorities have argued that the outbreak is under control, but Jonas Tegan, the World Health Organization’s representative in Uganda, said the best way to stop its spread was to build a risk-aware and fully engaged community. In addition, it is important to involve social leaders to help the public develop safe habits and take recommended precautions.
“I think our biggest tools should be risk communication and community engagement,” Tegegn said. These are areas where “we haven’t seen a lot of investment from our partners. We want resources from our partners and donors to address these issues.”
Patrick Otim, Health Emergencies Officer in the Acute Events Management Branch of the WHO Regional Office for Africa, said that in the early weeks of the outbreak, the response depended on the continued cooperation of affected communities — and community members in Uganda often All working together.but Jingwei Henry BosaThe Ugandan health ministry’s Ebola incident commander confirmed reports that relatives of patients who died of Ebola had exhumed the bodies for a religious ceremony, an act that appears to have led to more infections and at least nine deaths.
“It hasn’t happened since, and we don’t think it will happen again,” Otium said. “But we also need to understand that at the beginning of this outbreak, the level of awareness and concern about Ebola was low.”
Complying with the health ministry’s guidance will take time, but Ugandans now appear to be aware of the risks of Ebola. Otim added that the intensity of infections in the epicenters has actually calmed down, with fewer cases now coming from those areas. The biggest concern, he said, was that the outbreak would spread to major cities.
Elsewhere, health authorities are on alert for the virus. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) temporarily closed the urgent care center at Colchester General Hospital in England for about a day last week because of a possible case of Ebola.but british high speed rail later said That “There are currently no confirmed cases of Ebola in the UK”