Fast-Track Development of Ebola Vaccines
As experimental Ebola vaccines start to head toward large clinical trials in Africa, a report released by a British charitable foundation and academic experts, including Jon Andrus, Executive Vice President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, spelled out the complexity of the challenges involved in providing a vaccine to help stop West Africa's sprawling epidemic.
"The unprecedented morbidity and mortality from the 2013-2015 Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic in West Africa has challenged every aspect of our global ability to effectively detect, respond to, and control such a rapidly emerging infectious disease crisis. As the epidemiology of the EVD epidemic has become more apparent over recent months, it is clear that Ebola virus transmission can be reduced by employing traditional public health measures such as contact tracing and infection control practices aimed at barrier protection. Nonetheless, the potential for this epidemic to become an endemic situation, where ongoing virus transmission in West Africa occurs in the foreseeable future, is a real and very concerning possibility. As long as Ebola virus continues to be transmitted to humans by humans in these countries, the potential for sudden bursts of localized virus transmission will exist, and the risk of the Ebola virus expanding its range to other countries must be considered."