The Serum Institute of India, the biggest vaccine manufacturer in the world, is set to begin producing between 20,000 and 30,000 doses of an Ebola vaccine, which will be used in trials in Uganda.
The vaccine was developed by Oxford University in the United Kingdom.
Teresa Lambe, the chief scientific investigator on Oxford’s Ebola vaccine, is quoted by Reuters as saying that they hope to have the vaccines by mid-November.
This comes after Uganda’s Ministry of Health last week said plans are underway to start testing candidate vaccines for the Ebola Sudan strain in affected districts to curb the spread.
Apart from one developed by the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, the other was developed by the Sabin Vaccine Institute in Washington DC, the United States.
“We are hopeful that within the next one week, the vaccines will be here in the country and we shall begin,” Dr Ruth Aceng, the Minister of Health, said.
Vaccines undergo three phases of a clinical trial before approval.
Dr Aceng said their interest will be to monitor how long the vaccine protection lasts. The minister said the monoclonal antibodies, another trial drug that was provided by the US government, was also very effective on health workers who were discharged on Tuesday last week.
The vaccine developed by Oxford University has been shown to induce an immune response to both the Sudan and Zaire strains in Phase 1 trials.
“We are hoping to have a large number of doses, approximately 20,000 to 30,000 or more by mid-to-end of November,” Lambe is quoted by Reuters as saying.
Twenty people have succumbed to the disease since the outbreak was confirmed in Uganda on September 19. The outbreak was triggered by Ebola Sudan.