As an Ebola outbreak in a conflict-plagued region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to spread after four months, there’s a glimmer of hope: An experimental Ebola vaccine appears to be helping the communities it reaches.
Should the outbreak spread more widely in cities, the scale of the outbreak could tax the available supplies of an experimental vaccine being used to help contain spread, said Peter Salama, who heads the World Health Organization’s (WHO) emergencies program.
In addition to an Ebola vaccine, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations is currently funding the development of vaccines for Lassa fever, Middle East respiratory syndrome, Nipah virus, and coronavirus at the Jenner Institute; and by using the same technology as the Ebola vaccine — called viral vectors — researchers can significantly reduce the time it takes to develop vaccines.
A novel synthetic DNA vaccine offers complete protection from Zaire Ebolavirus infection in promising preclinical research.
Congo's health ministry is preparing to begin Ebola vaccinations Wednesday, August 8, in the eastern city of Beni and neighboring Mangina village.
Researechers compared immune responses induced by Ebola virus glycoprotein subunit vaccines via intradermal immunization with microneedle (MN) patches and the conventional intramuscular injection in mice.
On 21 May, officials launched a vaccine trial with no untreated group as a control. Workers gave shots in four different locations to about 3300 people who had come in direct or secondhand contact with a confirmed case.
Spanish researchers are working on a vaccine against all five strains of the killer Ebola virus.
Even if the vaccine helps, there are serious hurdles. The shots must be transported deep into forests with few paved roads without it spoiling in the heat, and health workers must identify and track down anyone who's had contact with a sick person and persuade them that shots pushed by foreigners could save their lives.
China is making a bid to use its Ebola vaccine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.