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Friday, July 31, 2015

Ebola Vaccine - anti-vaccine zealots are clueless

Thank you to Norway:  Børge Brende foreign minister of Norway.

“This new vaccine, if the results hold up, may be the silver bullet against Ebola, helping to bring the current outbreak to zero and to control future outbreaks of this kind..."

For thousands and thousands of years (in other words for eons), civilization had no idea what caused infectious diseases. Now, because of microbiological research, we know what causes diseases and, oftentimes, how to prevent them from become epidemics. Many infectious diseaes are prventable, because of vaccines. So, why is it that anti-vaxxers want to create fear in the public about an intervention that's proven to prevent deadly diseases? These crazy zealots want to stop Americans from being immunized! Millenniums of civilizations would've given anything to've accessed preventive vaccines. Now, we have these vaccines, while groups of crazy zealots are trying to scare us away from using them. But, now, entering from Africa, is the deadly Ebola virus.

As a professional registered nurse, it's impossible for me to understand how people can object to the proven preventive value  of vaccines. Polio, measles, chicken pox, shingles, pneumonia,  whooping cough, diphtheria and other vaccine preventable diseases are almost unheard of today, because of the ability to prevent them with immunizations.  

Now, we have to add Ebola to this infectious list.

It's probable,  there's now a vaccine to help prevent the deadly Ebola virus from causing the world wide pandemic panic we experienced, when the deadly outbreak was sweeping western Africa. Many dedicated caregivers contracted the deadly virus, including several American medical professionals.

Americans "freaked out" when some of the Ebola infected medical professionals were transported home to US medical facilities, for treatment. 

Yet, taking care of these caregivers, in modern medical centers, protected by infection control procedures, was the absolute right thing to do. Most of the victims,who were cared for in the US, survived, as a result.

If the Ebola vaccine, currently in process of being approved, is available, I suspect all people going to Africa, regardless of their purposes, will be required to have the immunization. There will be no question about whether or not the Ebola vaccines are safe, because even the remote chance of contracting Ebola will be more of a risk than worrying about the safety of the preventive vaccine.

Ebola vaccine trial proves 100% successful in Guinea

Rapid development and testing of drug may bring current epidemic in west Africa to an end and control future outbreaks, experts say.
A vaccine against Ebola has been shown to be 100% successful in trials conducted during the outbreak in Guinea, and is likely to bring the west African epidemic to an end, experts say.

“This new vaccine, if the results hold up, may be the silver bullet against Ebola, helping to bring the current outbreak to zero and to control future outbreaks of this kind. I would like to thank all partners who have contributed to achieve this sensational result, due to an extraordinary and rapid collaborative effort,” he said on Friday.

There have been a total of 27,748 cases of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone up to 26 July, with 11,279 reported deaths, although the outcome of many cases is unknown and the toll will be significantly higher. In the week ending 26 July, there were just four new cases in Guinea and three in Sierra Leone.

Because of the diminishing number of Ebola cases in west Africa and the shifting nature of the epidemic, with many sudden small outbreaks occurring across the region, researchers hit on a novel design for the trial.

The “gold standard” approach would be to take a population at risk of Ebola and vaccinate half of them while giving the other half a placebo. Instead, the researchers used a “ring” design, similar to that which helped prove the smallpox vaccine worked in the 1970s.

When Ebola flared up in a village, researchers vaccinated all the contacts of the sick person who were willing – the family, friends and neighbours – and their immediate contacts. Children, adolescents and pregnant women were excluded because of an absence of safety data for them. In practice about 50% of people in these clusters were vaccinated.

The results of the trials involving 4,000 people are remarkable because of the unprecedented speed with which the development of the vaccine and the testing were carried out.

Scientists, doctors, donors and drug companies collaborated to race the vaccine through a process that usually takes more than a decade in just 12 months.

“Having seen the devastating effects of Ebola on communities and even whole countries, this news is very encouraging," said Børge Brende, the foreign minister of Norway, which helped fund the trial.

I sincerely hope whoever supported the funding of an Ebola vaccine will become the recipient of a Nobel Prize for protecting world health.  Thank you.

Anti-vaxxers, on the other hand, are clearly clueless zealots.

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