Ebola Vaccines: Why Clinical Trials Are Just the First Step

With clinical trials for Ebola vaccines now under way, and with governments and manufacturers stepping up to fund them, there is an almost palpable sense that the panic is over and the problem solved. The reality, however, is that even if a safe and effective vaccine emerges and the epidemic is brought under control, we are still in many ways no better prepared for future outbreaks than we were a year ago.

So how is it that we can spend billions of dollars every year keeping fleets of nuclear-armed submarines permanently patrolling our oceans, to protect us from a threat that will almost certainly never happen, and yet invest virtually nothing into the prevention of something as tangible and evolutionarily certain as virulent infectious disease?

Even now, with more than 6,000 people dead and 14,000 confirmed cases of Ebola in eight countries, it is still not clear who will pay if, or when, a vaccine becomes available. Millions of doses will be needed, and not just to help end the current epidemic but also, crucially, as a stockpile to prevent future outbreaks from getting out of control.

What is now clear though is that West Africa needs a vaccine, and needs —> Read More Here


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