International Journal of Infectious Diseases and Therapy

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Shielding Africa, Protecting the World: Unleashing the Power of Preventative Use of Ebola Vaccines

Received: 11 January 2024    Accepted: 23 February 2024    Published: 13 March 2024
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Abstract

Africa CDC recently conducted a comprehensive risk ranking assessment of epidemic-prone diseases across the continent, identifying Ebola as one of the top 19 infectious diseases with the highest scores in disease severity risk and epidemic potential. The Ebolaviruses first described in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 1976 have left a harrowing trail across sub-Saharan Africa, triggering no less than 34 Ebola outbreaks in 11 sub-Saharan Africa countries, a statistic further compounded by the recent outbreak in Uganda in 2022. At present, the World Health Organization (WHO) has approved two Ebola vaccines, including Ervebo and two-component Zabdeno and Mvabea boost vaccines, for use by individuals above the age of 1 year, including pregnant women as per the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) recommendations. The use of these vaccines has demonstrated noteworthy efficacy in safeguarding against Ebola in most African communities and frontline health workers in Ebola-endemic countries such as Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia, among others. Unfortunately, the uptake of these vaccines in Ebola-endemic countries remains dishearteningly constrained despite their availability due to, among other things, the unpredictable timing of outbreaks, sub-optimal surveillance, vaccine demand volatility, palpable vaccine hesitancy, and fragile health infrastructure. Addressing these challenges requires a multifaceted approach that includes a synergy of partnerships between governments, communities, development partners, and private sector partners, such as pharmaceuticals. Recognizing that outbreaks originate and seize at the community level, the imperative of confronting hesitancy through sustained proactive community engagement and utilizing promising vaccination strategies such as ring vaccination must be encouraged. Governments must increase investments to strengthen the regulatory environment for timely access to vaccine stockpiles, robust and cost-effective Ebola vaccination programs for at-risk populations, and preventative use for the health workforce. The International Coordinating Group (ICG) on Vaccine Provision also recommends that national and international health authorities initiate vaccine access by submitting a request to the ICG. This opportunity is at no cost for GAVI-eligible countries and on a reimbursement basis for non-eligible countries. In parallel, Africa CDC is also working closely with Member States on the continent to increase availability and access to medical countermeasures, which include therapeutics, vaccines, and diagnostics, making it critical that Africa CDC is included in the ICG. This will promote timely issue profiling and resolution for increased demand for vaccine stockpiles across the continent where they are needed most as the continent moves towards enhanced health security.

DOI 10.11648/j.ijidt.20240901.11
Published in International Journal of Infectious Diseases and Therapy (Volume 9, Issue 1, March 2024)
Page(s) 1-6
Creative Commons

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, provided the original work is properly cited.

Copyright

Copyright © The Author(s), 2024. Published by Science Publishing Group

Keywords

Ebola, Vaccines, Sub-Saharan Africa, ICG, SAGE, Africa CDC, Health Security

References
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Cite This Article
  • APA Style

    Tegegne, M. A., Gitahi, G., Kimathi, G., Kiarie, J. (2024). Shielding Africa, Protecting the World: Unleashing the Power of Preventative Use of Ebola Vaccines. International Journal of Infectious Diseases and Therapy, 9(1), 1-6. https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ijidt.20240901.11

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    ACS Style

    Tegegne, M. A.; Gitahi, G.; Kimathi, G.; Kiarie, J. Shielding Africa, Protecting the World: Unleashing the Power of Preventative Use of Ebola Vaccines. Int. J. Infect. Dis. Ther. 2024, 9(1), 1-6. doi: 10.11648/j.ijidt.20240901.11

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    AMA Style

    Tegegne MA, Gitahi G, Kimathi G, Kiarie J. Shielding Africa, Protecting the World: Unleashing the Power of Preventative Use of Ebola Vaccines. Int J Infect Dis Ther. 2024;9(1):1-6. doi: 10.11648/j.ijidt.20240901.11

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  • @article{10.11648/j.ijidt.20240901.11,
      author = {Merawi Aragaw Tegegne and Githinji Gitahi and George Kimathi and Jackline Kiarie},
      title = {Shielding Africa, Protecting the World: Unleashing the Power of Preventative Use of Ebola Vaccines},
      journal = {International Journal of Infectious Diseases and Therapy},
      volume = {9},
      number = {1},
      pages = {1-6},
      doi = {10.11648/j.ijidt.20240901.11},
      url = {https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ijidt.20240901.11},
      eprint = {https://article.sciencepublishinggroup.com/pdf/10.11648.j.ijidt.20240901.11},
      abstract = {Africa CDC recently conducted a comprehensive risk ranking assessment of epidemic-prone diseases across the continent, identifying Ebola as one of the top 19 infectious diseases with the highest scores in disease severity risk and epidemic potential. The Ebolaviruses first described in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 1976 have left a harrowing trail across sub-Saharan Africa, triggering no less than 34 Ebola outbreaks in 11 sub-Saharan Africa countries, a statistic further compounded by the recent outbreak in Uganda in 2022. At present, the World Health Organization (WHO) has approved two Ebola vaccines, including Ervebo and two-component Zabdeno and Mvabea boost vaccines, for use by individuals above the age of 1 year, including pregnant women as per the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) recommendations. The use of these vaccines has demonstrated noteworthy efficacy in safeguarding against Ebola in most African communities and frontline health workers in Ebola-endemic countries such as Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia, among others. Unfortunately, the uptake of these vaccines in Ebola-endemic countries remains dishearteningly constrained despite their availability due to, among other things, the unpredictable timing of outbreaks, sub-optimal surveillance, vaccine demand volatility, palpable vaccine hesitancy, and fragile health infrastructure. Addressing these challenges requires a multifaceted approach that includes a synergy of partnerships between governments, communities, development partners, and private sector partners, such as pharmaceuticals. Recognizing that outbreaks originate and seize at the community level, the imperative of confronting hesitancy through sustained proactive community engagement and utilizing promising vaccination strategies such as ring vaccination must be encouraged. Governments must increase investments to strengthen the regulatory environment for timely access to vaccine stockpiles, robust and cost-effective Ebola vaccination programs for at-risk populations, and preventative use for the health workforce. The International Coordinating Group (ICG) on Vaccine Provision also recommends that national and international health authorities initiate vaccine access by submitting a request to the ICG. This opportunity is at no cost for GAVI-eligible countries and on a reimbursement basis for non-eligible countries. In parallel, Africa CDC is also working closely with Member States on the continent to increase availability and access to medical countermeasures, which include therapeutics, vaccines, and diagnostics, making it critical that Africa CDC is included in the ICG. This will promote timely issue profiling and resolution for increased demand for vaccine stockpiles across the continent where they are needed most as the continent moves towards enhanced health security.
    },
     year = {2024}
    }
    

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    AB  - Africa CDC recently conducted a comprehensive risk ranking assessment of epidemic-prone diseases across the continent, identifying Ebola as one of the top 19 infectious diseases with the highest scores in disease severity risk and epidemic potential. The Ebolaviruses first described in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 1976 have left a harrowing trail across sub-Saharan Africa, triggering no less than 34 Ebola outbreaks in 11 sub-Saharan Africa countries, a statistic further compounded by the recent outbreak in Uganda in 2022. At present, the World Health Organization (WHO) has approved two Ebola vaccines, including Ervebo and two-component Zabdeno and Mvabea boost vaccines, for use by individuals above the age of 1 year, including pregnant women as per the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) recommendations. The use of these vaccines has demonstrated noteworthy efficacy in safeguarding against Ebola in most African communities and frontline health workers in Ebola-endemic countries such as Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia, among others. Unfortunately, the uptake of these vaccines in Ebola-endemic countries remains dishearteningly constrained despite their availability due to, among other things, the unpredictable timing of outbreaks, sub-optimal surveillance, vaccine demand volatility, palpable vaccine hesitancy, and fragile health infrastructure. Addressing these challenges requires a multifaceted approach that includes a synergy of partnerships between governments, communities, development partners, and private sector partners, such as pharmaceuticals. Recognizing that outbreaks originate and seize at the community level, the imperative of confronting hesitancy through sustained proactive community engagement and utilizing promising vaccination strategies such as ring vaccination must be encouraged. Governments must increase investments to strengthen the regulatory environment for timely access to vaccine stockpiles, robust and cost-effective Ebola vaccination programs for at-risk populations, and preventative use for the health workforce. The International Coordinating Group (ICG) on Vaccine Provision also recommends that national and international health authorities initiate vaccine access by submitting a request to the ICG. This opportunity is at no cost for GAVI-eligible countries and on a reimbursement basis for non-eligible countries. In parallel, Africa CDC is also working closely with Member States on the continent to increase availability and access to medical countermeasures, which include therapeutics, vaccines, and diagnostics, making it critical that Africa CDC is included in the ICG. This will promote timely issue profiling and resolution for increased demand for vaccine stockpiles across the continent where they are needed most as the continent moves towards enhanced health security.
    
    VL  - 9
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Author Information
  • Division of Emergency Preparedness & Response, Africa Centers for Disease Control, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

  • Global Headquarters, Amref Health Africa, Nairobi, Kenya

  • Institute of Capacity Development, Amref International University, Nairobi, Kenya

  • Global Health Security Unit, Amref Health Africa, Nairobi, Kenya

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