The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that it has pre-qualified an Ebola vaccine for the first time, in a move that will speed up the roll-out of the vaccine in countries most at risk of an outbreak.
The WHO says it has reviewed safety and efficacy data on the vaccine as information became available in response to the “urgent public health need for a prequalified Ebola vaccine."
Last week, the European Commission announced a decision to grant a conditional marketing authorisation for the vaccine, following the recommendation from the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Representatives from the pre-qualification team have participated in the EMA evaluation process to address programmatic suitability for at-risk countries in Africa.
“This is a historic step towards ensuring the people who most need it are able to access this life-saving vaccine," said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. "Five years ago, we had no vaccine and no therapeutics for ebola. With a prequalified vaccine and experimental therapeutics, ebola is now preventable and treatable."
It is anticipated licensed doses will be available in mid-2020.