Friday, February 27, 2015

WHO/SAGE Indicate "No Decision" -- On Mass Ebola Vaccinations -- Until At Least August 2015

Clearly, the recent and heartening reduction in the year long outbreak (the world's worst, thus far) is stretching the time line, but that is net, net, a good thing. And clearly we need to see the immune response is durable in the wild -- in the real world. So we will need to be patient here. I am encouraged. And I am sure Merck and New Link are, too. As are GSK and J&J.

Here's the Reuters bit, overnight:

. . . .WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier, reporting on a three-day meeting of experts, told a news briefing: "Vaccine introduction is by no means a given and will depend on the results of clinical trials and recommendations from WHO's Strategy Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on vaccines and immunization.

"The earliest that the SAGE is expected to make recommendation on a wide-scale introduction is August. Decisions on whether or not to introduce the vaccine will be made by the respective ministries of health of countries. . . ."

WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said: "We know the vaccines are safe, we know they produce a good immunogenic response in humans, but we don't know if they are effective when you actually have disease in community."

Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone reported 99 new confirmed Ebola cases in the week to Feb. 22, down from 128 the previous week, the WHO said on Wednesday. . . .

So, encouraging declines in new cases continue. . . and Merck will of course "do the right, as it sees. . . the right." For my part, I'll keep hoping. . . for "hope is a good thing -- perhaps even the best of all things. . . ." Onward.

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