The head of Makerere University Walter Reed Project (MUWRP) on Ebola vaccine, Dr. Hannah Kibuuka has revealed that Uganda will soon start the second phase of Ebola Vaccine trial involving 90 participants. The tests will be administered to people (volunteers) living in Kampala and nearby districts only to enable easy and effective monitoring of the subjects.
Dr. Kibuuka, who doubles as the Principal Investigator of the Ebola vaccine RV 442 that aims at understanding the safety of the vaccine among Ugandans, said that the tests will be focusing on establishing if the vaccine can boost the body’s defense against the Ebola virus.
“We hope to start vaccination in the next two weeks but we are currently providing information to those who may be interested in participation and screening potential participants to determine those that are eligible for vaccination.” said Dr. Kibuuka during a media briefing at MUWRP headquarters.
She explained that phase 2 is still far from truly discovering whether the vaccine can completely prevent the Ebola virus, “every phase or experiment leads the doctors closer to discovering the vaccine and we hope that one day a vaccine to completely prevent Ebola will be discovered.” She said.
All the 90 volunteers will be aged between 18 and 65 years, 30 of whom will be selected form those that had earlier participated in the Ebola/Marburg DNA vaccination trials that were previously conducted in 2009 and 2012.
All volunteers will undergo initial tests to first establish that they are in perfect health before the trial procedures are conducted on them. Those enrolled will be closely monitored for a period of 12 months for any new developments in the struggle to discover the Ebola vaccine.
By Agaba Ronald