In many ways, Nguyen Phan Bao Linh and Yu En Hsu seem like opposite sides of the same coin: both are international students enrolled in the Maxwell School’s No. 1-ranked master of public administration (M.P.A.) program, both are among the…
Facing Another Potential Ebola Epidemic, Use of ‘Experimental’ Vaccine Doesn’t Cut It
Health workers in the Democratic Republic of Congo have launched an immunization campaign to fight Ebola, where numerous cases of the disease have been confirmed. According to reports, the experimental vaccine is not yet licensed but was effective in treatments during the 2014 outbreak in West Africa.
Brittany Kmush is an assistant professor at Syracuse University’s David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, whose specialties include epidemiology, global health, infectious diseases, and vaccines. Kmush criticizes the slow vaccine development for a disease that’s been around for decades and killed thousands during the devastating 2014-16 outbreak.
“Ebola was identified in the 1970s, yet very little effort was made to develop a vaccine until the large 2014 outbreak in West Africa. However, once that outbreak receded, interest in the vaccine died down again.
“Now, on the eve of another potentially large outbreak, public health officials are planning to deploy an experimental vaccine that has not been fully tested for efficacy and safety in up to 10,000 people. These outbreaks highlight the need to develop safe and effective vaccines prior to a public health crisis.”
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