Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Ebola vaccine trials start, as epidemic is out of control overseas; why not a vaccine for avian influenza, SARS, MERS, etc?
Trials on safety for an Ebola virus vaccine will begin at NIH in Bethesda, Maryland. At least 21 people will receive a vaccine containing Ebola proteins but no live virus. At least six will receive placebos. Three specific individuals may get the vaccine first. It will be possible to determine an effective cellular and humoral immune response to the material (the T-helper response is probably what matters most).
There is a detailed story on “Medicine.Net” here.
The CDC said today that in Africa, Ebola is running out of control, but there is still little concern that a significant outbreak could be brought to the West. Still, a third American doctor, who had not treated patients directly, was reported infected; major CNN story here.
I would wonder why there isn’t more effort into building a vaccine for “bird flu” (there are several strains) or for SARS and MERS viruses, which appear to be more transmissible. Again, maybe we need to resume smallpox vaccination, too. It’s about national security.
Dr, Kenneth Brantly talks to Matt Lauer on NBC Sept. 3, He says he almost stopped breathing just before he got the emergency serum.