Uganda to receive Ebola vaccine candidate next week


By Doosuur Iwambe

The first doses of candidate vaccines against the Sudan Ebola virus are expected to arrive in Uganda in the coming days, World Health Organization has said.

This is just as the WHO said it is boosting efforts to support the government-led response against the outbreak which has now affected nine districts, including three complex urban environments.

A press statement by the global health body noted that its committee of external experts has evaluated three candidate vaccines and agreed that they all be deployed to Uganda for a clinical trial against the Sudan Ebola virus—one of the six species of the Ebola virus genus.

According to the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti; “The aim of the randomised trial is to evaluate potentially efficacious candidate vaccines and to possibly contribute to ending the ongoing outbreak and protect populations at risk in the future.

“The trial is the result of a collaborative effort, coordinated by WHO with developers, academic institutions, countries’ sponsoring the production of the vaccine doses, regulatory authorities, other experts, and the government of Uganda.

“Supplies of one of the three candidate vaccines are expected to arrive in Uganda next week and the other two soon after. The trial protocol has been conditionally approved by WHO and Uganda and the final approvals are expected soon. Import permits for the vaccines is expected to be issued by the National Regulatory Authority soon. While the trial start date is not certain yet, WHO is working with the Ministry of Health and Makerere University, which is leading the trial to make sure everything is ready and the trial can begin once one vaccine has arrived and all the trial preparations are in place. The two other candidates will be added, as they become available.

“The start of vaccine trials will mark a pivotal moment towards the development of an effective tool against the virus behind the current Ebola outbreak in Uganda.

“In previous outbreaks, we have seen how effective vaccines have averted the further spread of the virus, helping to quickly contain the epidemic. But it will take time to get trial results and for now, the outbreak can be controlled without vaccines as we can see already with the slowing down of transmission in many of the affected districts.”

Uganda declared an outbreak of Sudan ebolavirus on 20 September.

As of November 14, 2022, there have been 141 confirmed and 22 probable cases (a total of 163 cases) and 55 confirmed and 22 probable deaths (77 total deaths) reported. Nineteen health workers have been infected with the virus and seven have died.

About the author

Ada Ada

Leave a Comment