Dr. Mike Turner, a British scientist researching Ebola, told Punch that thanks to a partnership between the non-governmental organisation he works with, and Dangote Foundation, an Ebola vaccine could be available as early as December this year.
Turner is Head of Infection at the Wellcome Trust, an NGO in the UK that facilitates medical research.
Speaking on the partnership, he said:
“We are delighted that the Dangote Foundation is joining the Wellcome Trust and others in the international consortium of funders to develop a multi-pronged approach to combating Ebola.
This is a fast-moving scene at present and it is not yet clear precisely which partners will fund which components of the work that we hope will lead to new diagnostics, drugs and vaccines.
What is more important is that the partners are all not just talking about the problems, but actually trying to make things happen and the future inevitable epidemics. If things go well, we hope to know whether this candidate vaccine is safe, with some prospect of protecting people by Christmas.”
In addition to the Dangote Foundation, the Wellcome Trust is also partnering with the National Institutes of Health and GlaxoSmithKline in the United States, as well as other organisations.
According to reports, the vaccine will soon be tested in Oxford, England as well as Gambia and Mali.
A company called Okairos is said to have originally developed the vaccine, but development was taken over by GlaxoSmithKline last year.
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