By Leonard Kamugisha Akida,
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has donated 120 doses of ebola candidate vaccines for clinical trials to Uganda.
The three types of candidate vaccines were earlier today received by the minister for health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng at National Medical Stores Entebbe. They are VSV-SUDV from Merck/IAVI, ChAd3-SUDV from the Sabin Institute and biEBOV from the Oxford University / Jener institute.
Speaking at a handover ceremony for the vaccines, the WHO Uganda officer in-charge Dr. Charles Njugu said the vaccines are only for research purposes noting that Uganda does not currently have any approved vaccine to protect individuals from ebola disease.
“There is not yet an approved and licensed vaccine that can protect individuals and communities against the species of ebola virus currently in Uganda,” Dr. Nguju said
He however, assured the public that the vaccines have been developed and tested to determine their efficiency and safety to humans.
Speaking to journalists shortly after receiving the vaccines, the minister of health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said that participating in the clinical trial exercise is voluntary and free.
“The vaccines will be administered to those at a greatest risk that is immediate contacts of a suspected person who has been diagnosed with Sudan Virus Disease,” minister Aceng said
She further warned that the arrival of the disease does not interfere with the activities initiated by the ministry of health to prevent the spread of ebola virus.