Ebola vaccine doses to be stockpiled for emergency outbreak use

Henrietta Strickland
December 7, 2019

The Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, is meeting in Delhi this week to review and decide future investments, including funding for the establishment of a global emergency stockpile of an Ebola vaccine.

This number features Merck's vaccine, which was given provisional European approval and saw the company scaling up production accordingly.

Further than its work on Ebola, Gavi also stated that it would pledge $11.6m to fund a malaria vaccine implementation program between 2021 and 2023.

The vaccine has already been used on health workers in countries bordering DRC in the event of the disease crossing the border.

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".

Berkley said the Ebola stockpile could include these vaccines if and when they passed full clinical testing and gained marketing licences.

Jason Nickerson, a humanitarian affairs expert for the global 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". It target's the Zaire strain of Ebola - the one that has caused most of the known outbreaks. Outbreak responders are still investigating 319 suspected cases.

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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