Uganda receives 1,200 doses of candidate Ebola vaccines for trials

KAMPALA (Reuters) – A shipment of 1,200 doses of candidate Ebola vaccines for use in a clinical trial has arrived in Uganda, where an outbreak has infected 142 people and killed at least 56, health authorities said on Thursday.
There are currently no licensed vaccines for the Sudanese strain of the virus that caused the infections in Uganda, although there are several candidate vaccines that appear suitable for evaluation, according to the World Health Organization.
Existing vaccines combat the most common Zaire strain, which has spread in recent outbreaks in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.
Uganda last week said it had discharged its last Ebola patient from hospital, raising hopes of an end to a deadly haemorrhagic fever outbreak declared on September 20.
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health Emmanuel Ainebyoona said candidate vaccines had arrived and the Minister of Health was due to announce the start date for trials later on Thursday.
The WHO said it would send three candidate vaccines to Uganda to be used in a trial, one by Oxford University and the other Serum Institute of Indiaanother by the Sabin Vaccine Institute and a third by Merck & Co Inc.
The Health Ministry said on Twitter that it had received 1,200 doses of the candidate vaccine from the WHO, but did not say who the manufacturer was.
Ebola causes vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding from all body orifices and is spread through contact with bodily fluids of infected people.
Health officials have previously said everything is in place for trials to begin and they are just waiting for doses to arrive.


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