two vaccines that presumably will be chosen as a system of immunization is effective and reliable for the fight against the ebola virus will not be ready until march, according to said today the World Health Organization (WHO).
“The development of a vaccine usually takes time and is notoriously expensive. Even in the best conditions and with the massive effort of many involved, a significant number of doses will not be available until the end of the first quarter of 2015,”, said the world body.
In a statement, the WHO summarizes a two day meeting which held in Geneva, experts of various areas (epidemiologists, virologists, pharmacists, governments and the companies involved, in addition to experts in public health) to evaluate the possibility to create and produce vaccines against ebola.
Typically the development of a vaccine takes between two and four years, specified in the document, and although in this case it has accelerated the most of the process, all the stages of control are to comply.
“The ambition is to meet in a few months, work that normally takes from two to four years, without compromising international standards of safety and efficacy”, noted in the text.
The first of the two vaccines, cAd3-ZEBOV, being developed by the company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the united States.
The second, rVSV-ZEBOV, was developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada, although the marketing licence to the american company NewLink Genetics, Iowa.
The first is currently conducting trials in the united States, the United Kingdom and from next week in Mali.
For its part, the trials of NewLink Genétic take place in the united States and soon in Germany.
Neither of the two had been tested previously in humans and therefore the first thing to check is the effectiveness and safety of vaccines so that in the first place involves inoculating healthy volunteers.
The experts identified several problems, including the fact that professionals who carry out clinical trials according to international standards, or the question of whether such tests should be carried out in areas where there are people infected with the virus or not.
Other problems that will arise in the future is that once produced the vaccine, they must be kept in the cold chain and be kept at least 80 degrees celsius, and that the people who inoculen should be formed to do this.
The main problem is that for all possible funds are needed to finance the priority research and to ensure the production of the vaccine.
In the note, the WHO stresses the need that some “international donors important should announce donations to these stages of development can be carried out without delay,”.
The WHO has already made it clear that they are not planning any mass vaccination because prudence has to prevail.
When one or two experimental vaccines are available, priority will be for the medical staff who attends to the sick of ebola.
The experts made it clear that in the framework of this epidemic, healthcare personnel means doctors, nurses, lab technicians, people who clean the hospitals, ambulance drivers, undertakers, and, in some instances, the healers.
In six months, ebola has infected 6.553 people and has caused the death of 3,100, which has become the largest epidemic of this disease ever recorded since the virus was discovered in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (former Zaire).