CDC Official: 'Rapid Scale-Up' Needed to Stop Ebola Outbreak, Which Has 'Disproportionately' Hit Healthcare Workers
In addition, the Defense Department will provide support for the construction of 17 Ebola treatment units (ETU) in Liberia.
“We estimate that the first of these ETUs will be constructed within the next few weeks with a steady progression of other facilities after the first one,” Witkowsky said.
Colonel Nelson Michael, director of the U.S. Military HIV Research Program, said there are currently two Ebola vaccines under development. One of them was developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Michael, who has been working since 2008 with the NIAID team that developed the vaccine, said the NIH had initially planned to start testing the vaccine in Uganda by March 2015 but now it expects to begin human trials in four weeks. The vaccine is currently undergoing a human-safety trial at the NIH campus in Bethesda, Md., and the University of Oxford.
The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research received approval last week to begin safety testing of the second vaccine being developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
The WHO debated during a two-day meeting in Geneva the implementation of randomized control trials to test the vaccines.
“This brings up lots of issues in terms of justice and fairness and many issues of bioethics that we could talk about. But I will say, at the end of the day the most efficient way and the safest way to get to understanding if these vaccines work in humans is to do those kinds of studies in Africa,” Michael said.
Michael noted there are several obstacles to carry out these studies successfully, namely the difficulty in coordinating and organizing these tests in “places where people are at risk.”
“In order to do that right, and get quality information, it requires the ability to have good logistics,” he said. “So, I think that’s going to be something we’re going to have to get the sharp pencils out and really think very hard about.”
Related: "An Obamacare Mandate Connection to the Dallas Ebola Case?" From Bryan Preston at the PJ Tatler.