The European Union approved a new vaccine to prevent Ebola virus disease (Zaire ebolavirus species) in individuals aged 1 year and older. The vaccine consists of two components, Zabdeno (Ad26.ZEBOV) and Mvabea (MVA-BN-Filo). Zabdeno is given first and Mvabea is administered approximately eight weeks later as a booster.
The approval for Ervebo was granted to Merck & Co., the American pharmaceutical company that manufactures the vaccine. It was given European Commission approval in November.
The European Commission announced it has granted a marketing authorization of Merck's Ebola vaccine Ervebo.
Researchers in Uganda have begun a two-year trial to assess the safety and immune response generated by a new two-dose Ebola vaccine manufactured by Janssen Vaccine and Prevention.
When current Ebola otbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) began a year ago, the global stockpile of a new, promising vaccine was 300,000 doses. But as the virus continues to spread geographically, the supply of the new vaccine is dwindling, and is expected to run out before the outbreak ends.
Health officials are seeking to stretch supplies with lower doses, and to expand the vaccination pool beyond known patient contacts.
After the worst-ever week of new infections in one of the deadliest Ebola outbreaks in history, there is growing concern that the Canadian-developed Ebola vaccine is still mistrusted by many of the most vulnerable people in the crisis zone.
Of more than 90,000 people who were vaccinated, only 71 went on to develop Ebola. Fifty-six of those people developed symptoms fewer than 10 days after being vaccinated, suggesting the vaccine had not yet had time to fully protect them.
An antibody taken from an Ebola survivor has been found to target all three human strains of the virus and could eventually lead to an all-purpose vaccine.
Vaccine development for challenging diseases like Ebola and Marburg viruses remains a very difficult task. The pace at which the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine has been developed and implemented, in addition to the effectiveness of the ring vaccination strategy, has paved a way for dealing with future outbreaks.