Ebola and its recent discovered life-saving vaccine

Sayma Afroz

Ebola (Ebola hemorrhagic fever) is one kind of rare disease which was first identified in 1976 near the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This disease is caused by Ebola virus and that virus belongs to a family of Filoviridae. This virus causes disease not only human but also animals like gorillas, monkeys etc. The host of Ebola virus is unidentified but on the basis of research and researchers opinion, it is established that the virus is carried out by bats.

People get infected by Ebola virus through mucous membranes or damaged skin with blood, excretions, organs or bodily fluid of diseased humans or animals. There is a great risk for health care worker who treated the patients having Ebola. However, people persist contagious until the virus presents in their blood.

For the treatment of Ebola virus disease, there is no available vaccine yet. Some drug therapies and immune therapies are used for the improvement of the infected patients.

Recently, The Lancet medical journal published that finally Researchers have established an Ebola vaccine which showed an outstanding result in the prevention of Ebola virus disease.

According to the journal, a cluster-randomised ring vaccination trial was done in the coastal region of Basse-Guinée involving 11841people.This trial was started in 2015.They applieda single intramuscular dose of a vaccine called rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine in the prevention of Ebola virus disease confirmed by laboratory test.Among them, 5837 people were given the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine. As a result, no Ebola cases were found among the people after vaccination. On the other hand, 23 cases were found among the people who did not take the vaccine.

The experiment was funded by WHO, in association with Guinea’s Ministry of Health, Norwegian Institution of Public Health,UK Wellcome Trust,Medecins sans Frontieres and other international partners.

About the research, Dr. Jeremy Farrar, the director of the Wellcome Trust, said that “This trial, confirming the 100 percent efficacy of the rVSV Ebola vaccine, is a simply remarkable outcome”. He also said that working together with other organization,they are succeeded to develop a vaccine for the recovery of the people affected by Ebola virus.

Public Health Agency of Canadainvented the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine. At present, the vaccine is under development which is done by the drug company Merck.This year, the vaccine’s manufacturer Merck honored Breakthrough Therapy Designation from USFDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) and PRIME position from EMA (European Medicines Agency), providing quicker regulatory evaluation of the vaccine once it is presented.  The recently discovered Ebola Virus Disease Vaccine is rVSV-ZEBOV.

Moreover,the company is started doing extra safety studies on children and other susceptible populations for getting approval from USFDA and Drug Administration. Merck and WHO’s followers are working together for license application of the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine.

For the future collection of the vaccine, Merck will be provided US$5 million by GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance in the upcoming January. They have made an agreement that the company will provide 300,000 doses of the vaccine in case of an emergency.

The rapid development of the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine has a positive impact on the progression of WHO’s R & D and encourage to take steps to ensure safe and effective medicine for the prevention of the diseases.

We feel proud to have such a vaccine that can work for the recovery of the patients being infected by Ebola virus.Although many people lost their lives because of improper treatment during Ebola, so, we can said that this vaccine (rVSV-ZEBOV) has a vital role to bring a revolutionary progress in the prevention of Ebola virus disease.

Sayma Afroz is a undergrad student at East West University, Bangladesh. She can be reached at saymaafroz333@yahoo.com


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