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Lawmakers discuss Ebola vaccine marklate study

February 16, 2015 By Jariatu Bangura

Lawmakers last Wednesday discussed a planned Ebola vaccine marklate study on the prevention of the disease due to be undertaken in the country.

The study will be carried out by Sierra Leonean medical scientists along with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS), United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

In his presentation in Parliament, acting Provost of COMAHS and Principal Investigator for the study, Dr. Mohamed Samai, said the marklate would help protect people from contracting the disease during this outbreak and even in the future.

“We have selected the first group in the current most affected districts, including Western Area, few chiefdoms in Bombali, Port Loko and Tonkolili, to name a few. We are going to begin with 200 high risk frontline health workers after some observations; 6,000 health workers are going to receive the vaccine with special criteria and requirement and everyone is going to be targeted based on their end result,” Dr. Samai told MPs.

He stated that Liberia has already commenced the inoculation exercise, while Guinea and Sierra Leone are expected to follow soon, adding that the vaccine had been trialed in Canada, USA, UK, Switzerland and in some African countries, including Gabon and Mali.

He explained that the vaccine was invented in Canada last year and had gone through trials in other countries. The administration of the vaccine, he said, has fulfilled WHO’s mandate to scientists and pharmaceutical companies to go in search of a vaccine for the Ebola disease, last August.

He said many scientists are conducting trials with several vaccines and drugs for the virus, and disclosed that the new vaccine has some side effects which include joint pains, fever and sore throat.

Members of Parliament, however, commended the initiative as the country needs such interventions to help prevent the spread of the virus in and out of Africa.

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