A dissemination seminar has been held at the DHRC to discuss the findings from an Ebola vaccine trial which was recently conducted in Kambia in Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone was one of three countries in West Africa, heavily impacted by the West African Ebola outbreak of 2014-16. As part of the global response, the multi-site EBOVAC project was initiated to evaluate the Ad26.ZEBOV, MVA-BN-Filo candidate Ebola vaccine regimen.
A field study site was rapidly set up in Kambia District during the outbreak, and the safety and immunogenicity of the candidate vaccine has been evaluated in healthy adults and children. The seminar focused on the Sierra Leone site of the EBOVAC project.
The presenters were Dr. David Ishola, Associate Professor and Trial Manager, and Dr. Frank Baiden, Assistant Professor and Trial Coordinator, both of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK.
The seminar was held at the Dodowa Health Research Centre on December 10, 2019 and began with a word of welcome from Rev. Mrs Sabina Asiamah, Head of the Communication Unit. Dr. John Williams, Director of the Centre then presented an overview of the Dodowa Health Research Centre.
Dr David Ishola, Trial Manager and Dr. Frank Baiden, presented research findings from the Ebovac-Salone Vaccine Project to the audience.
The project aimed to develop a vaccine which would offer long-term protection against Ebola virus among at risk populations and health workers. The Ebovac-Salone vaccine is a 2-dose regimen. Overall, the vaccine trial was successful. The vaccine was found to be safe and immunogenic in trial participants who received the candidate vaccine.
The Ebovac-Salone vaccine is being administered in Congo presently as a supplementary intervention in communities bordering the worst affected areas of the current Ebola outbreak. Plans are underway to obtain World Health Organisation pre-qualification for the vaccine as well as registration by the European medicines regulatory authorities.
Following a question from a member of the audience, Dr. Baiden stressed the need for scientists to use the opportunities provided by disease outbreaks in future, to conduct research including clinical trials, on how to control those disease conditions.