The Partnership for research on Ebola vaccine in Liberia or PREVIAL for short, and the Liberia Crusaders for Peace (LCP) in collaboration with the Liberia United States Joint Research Partnership has launched a new Ebola vaccine trial at the Redemption Hospital in the Borough of New Kru Town, outskirt of Monrovia.
Speaking at the ceremony on Sunday February 01, 2015, the head of the Incident Management System of Liberia, Tolbert Nyenswah, said Ebola was declared in Liberia in March 2014 by Health Minister Dr. Walter Gwenigale.
He said the outbreak became worst in Liberia and during that period medical workers or patients could hold on about just anything in the name of Ebola medicine, because Liberians were really in need of solution.
Mr. Nyenswah noted that the Crusaders for Peace is continuing the process that the Incident Management System started, to eradicate the deadly Ebola virus from Liberia. He however urged Liberians to continue those preventive methods until the new trial vaccine is proven effective.
Also speaking as proxy for Liberia’s Health Minister, Deputy Health Minister for Administration Matthew Flomo, said government and the Health Ministry are grateful to the United States government for contributing to the global public health.
Romeo T. Doe, an Ebola survivor, who spoke on behalf of the community, said he contracted the virus from a nephew on October 4th, 2014. He said the death of his nephew caused seven members of his family to die.
He narrated that the boy went to fish and fell sick upon his return, noting they never had the second thought that he had the virus so the family was around him when he was sick and they contracted the virus, losing his uncle, his uncle two wives amongst others.
Traditional Queen Madam Juli Endee, who deputized for the Traditional Chief Zanzan Karwor, said Ebola is Liberians’ common enemy and also a terrorist. Madam Endee, also a cultural ambassador, said just how terrorists attacked and killed people, is the same way Ebola came and killed most Liberians.
United States Ambassador to Liberia, Debora Malac, said her government will continue the partnership with Liberians not only in the health sector, but in all areas.
Amb. Malac said since the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, she has been in Liberia to work with the people and continue to work.
There are two candidate Ebola virus vaccines, the chimpanzee adenovirus 3 (ChAd3-EBO Z)-based vaccine and the Vesicular Stomatitis virus
(VSVdeltaG-ZEBOV)-based vaccine. This study will evaluate both of these vaccines in a randomized, double-blind, controlled, 3-arm study in Liberia. Each vaccine will be compared against the same active control. Because there are limited data on the safety of these vaccines, the initial phase (phase 2) of the study will include the collection of more detailed data on safety and will define the immune response elicited by each vaccine in the first 600 volunteers.
In the absence of major safety issues, enrollment will continue, and
the remaining 27,570 volunteers will be randomized to the phase 3 portion of the trial.
Participants aged 18 years and older will be enrolled at health clinics in Monrovia, Liberia over 4 months. A single dose of the assigned agent will be administered.
Participants in phase 2 will undergo blood draw and assessment of adverse events (AEs) and signs and symptoms of Ebola infection at 1 week and 1 month after vaccination, and monthly assessment of AEs and signs and symptoms of Ebola thereafter. Participants in phase 3 will undergo monthly assessment of AEs and signs and symptoms of Ebola infection after vaccination. All participants will be followed for 8 to 12 months.
By Edwin G. Genoway, Jr & Ethel A. Tweh