Friday, July 31, 2015

Ebola Vaccine Good News: 100 Per Cent Efficacy; Phase III Effort Continues

The focus now shifts to SAGE -- and how soon that arm of the World Health Organization will recommend the candidate be used in wide scale vaccination efforts, in country.

We do know there had been a lingering (albeit small-scale) re-appearance/outbreak in Guinea -- and more recently, outside Monrovia, Liberia. Might the vaccine now be deployed in a ring fashion, among the 20 or so known to be exposed? I think that a very wise next step. Here is Bloomberg's reporting overnight:

. . . .Merck & Co.’s vaccine for Ebola is “highly effective,” according to an interim analysis from a panel of experts who recommended that a late-stage trial should continue.

The vaccine was 100 percent effective when it was tested on more than 4,000 people who were in close contact with Ebola patients in the African nation of Guinea, according to a study published today in the Lancet medical journal. . . .
As the authors of the original study put it, in The Lancet (with a hat tip to my erstwhile anonymous commenters, too!) then: ". . ."One important message [here] goes beyond even Ebola — the power of multilateralism and inclusive partnership to devise and execute critical clinical research. . . . Ebola has been a catastrophe for west Africa. But out of this epidemic has come the opportunity to build unprecedented collaborations to generate evidence to advance health. There have been few better examples to prove the value and importance of WHO to strengthen global health security. . . ." Quite so. It's just long time, in coming, sez me.

And so -- a hopeful summer Friday begins, just as August is upon us. Onward.

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