The vaccine group announces the creation of an Ebola vaccine supply

Henrietta Strickland
December 6, 2019

The vaccine alliance GAVI has announced on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019 it would invest $178 million to create a global stockpile of about 500,000 Ebola vaccines, in a move health officials say could help prevent future outbreaks from spiraling out of control.

"Now that funding has been approved, we will get to work with manufacturers and our Alliance partners to build the stockpile", he said.

Among the other elements of the stockpiling plan, lower income countries that need to tap the supply will also receive support for operating immunization campaigns. "This critical vaccine needs to be available when and where it's needed in future Ebola outbreaks, to allow public health teams to respond quickly and effectively to protect the lives of people who are affected". The use of the International Coordinating Group (ICG) mechanism has been agreed in order to ensure transparency and good governance for the allocation and management of this Ebola vaccine stockpile.

There are similar stockpiles for vaccines against yellow fever, meningitis and cholera.

Jason Nickerson, a humanitarian affairs adviser at Doctors Without Borders, said the new stockpile would change how officials respond to future Ebola outbreaks.

The rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine is the result of a collaborative research and development effort by public and philanthropic entities, not by Merck alone.

Jason Nickerson, a humanitarian affairs expert for the worldwide charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, welcomed GAVI's move, but urged it to allow a "thorough, independent and transparent estimate" of the vaccines' cost of manufacture to "ensure that the price paid is fair and reasonable". Johnson & Johnson's vaccine also has a vaccine going through the European regulatory process. To date there have been almost 3,200 confirmed Ebola cases, including more than 2,200 deaths, in what has become the second deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.

The DRC's Ebola technical committee (CMRE) said its daily report for yesterday that Ebola response activities are still at a standstill in Beni, Mangina, and Biakato due to recent security issues.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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