Ebola Vaccine Volunteers: Why They Said Yes
the MPR take:
Human trials of an experimental Ebola vaccine are underway as a joint effort between the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. The first volunteer in Mali to receive the vaccine was pediatrician Dr. Seydou Sissoko, who was vaccinated on October 8th and has been working with patients suspected of having Ebola. When asked why he joined the study, he stated “it is first to protect myself and secondly to help the scientific community find a good vaccine against the disease." Forty volunteers in Mali are participating in the study, among them ten additional healthcare workers scheduled to receive the vaccine today. All are health workers who may be asked treat Ebola patients in the future, including Mali’s newly-appointed Ebola czar Dr. Samba Sow. In this study, none of the patients will receive a placebo and a modified chimpanzee common cold virus is used to carry a single Ebola protein. The study will investigate both the efficacy of the vaccine and the proper dosage. Preliminary results show some immune response to the vaccine with no adverse reactions.
Preliminary indications in Mali from the first trial for an Ebola vaccine taking place in Africa seem promising. "We know that after two weeks they're starting to have some immune response and there are no adverse reactions," says Dr Samba Sow, an infectious disease epidemiologist and vaccine expert and director of Centre for Vaccine Development (CVD) in Mali.
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