By Adedayo Akinwale
An India scientist and Director General, Centre for Science and Technology of the Non-Aligned and other Developing Countries (NAM S&T Centre), New Delhi, Prof. Arun Kulshreshtha, has revealed that new findings from an International Consortium of Researchers have shown that Ebola vaccine appears to provide volunteers protection against the virus even two years after they were injected.
Kulshreshtha made this known Thursday in Abuja at the international workshop on Modern and Emerging Technology Trend In Vaccine Development, organised by National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) and NAM S&T Centre.
“For example, in an earlier study conducted in Guinea near the end of the devastating West
African Ebola outbreak, it was shown that the vaccine from Merck, which is given in a single shot, rapidly generated protection against the virus.
“Now there are encouraging findings from an international consortium of researchers both for the public health community and the vaccine’s manufacturer that the Ebola vaccine appears to provide volunteers protection against the virus even two years after they were injected. However, how long that protection would last is still an open question,” he said.
According to him, “technologies today can provide adequate tools to detect, control and prevent emerging Infections; developing countries are still suffering from a variety of infectious diseases for which either the vaccines do not exist or need further Research and Development requiring global and continued efforts, collaboration and coordination among regulatory agencies as well as sustainable economic system to support such initiatives.”
He decried the anti-vaccine attitudes of people in various societies, stressing that “some people are against vaccines, may be because of their religious beliefs, or distrust their effectiveness, or are more inclined to believe in conspiracies, feel rebellious or are simply skeptical.”
The Indian scientist said that people with anti-vaccine views tend to be suspicious of pharmaceuticals and averse to needles and blood.
Kulshreshtha stated: “It is very unfortunate that you only need a small number of such people that do not get vaccinated and you will lose the collective immunity that makes diseases reappear.”
“Vaccine, a biological preparation from living organisms, is one of most widely practiced life saving medical interventions to reduce disease and death from infectious diseases.”