Ebola: Have We Found the Solution?


Image created by A. Kolla

An ebola bacteria.

Ebola has been a very deadly virus for a while now. Up until recently, there was no approved vaccine to prevent Ebola. According to Nature, on November 11, the world’s first Ebola vaccine was approved for use by the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and European Commission.

The vaccine, called Ervebo, is distributed by a company called Merck. According to STAT, the vaccine was actually used in the past, it just wasn’t approved. It was used in Sierra Leone during the outbreaks from late 2014 to 2016. The difference now is that the vaccine is approved by all of these organizations. But what does this approval mean?

According to Big Think, the EMA’s conditional marketing authorization helps speed up the approval process with other organizations. Two days after the EMA and European Commission’s approval, the WHO prequalified the vaccine. This is just telling nations part of the WHO that the vaccine is safe. Most underdeveloped countries use this prequalification to decide whether or not to use a certain vaccine or medicine. The approval also lets Merck make the vaccine in European countries and to stockpile it. Basically, the approval helps more countries to approve the vaccine and to get it to them faster.

This vaccine can help to lower the number of cases of Ebola. In Guinea, Liberia, and Sierre Leone alone, there were 11,310 deaths in just the 2014-2016 outbreak. Hopefully, the new vaccine can help stop the spread of Ebola and eradicate it once and for all.