USA – Johnson & Johnson has announced that its Ebola vaccine regimen has demonstrated remarkable antibody immune responses in adults and children, citing data published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.
According to the report, the two-dose regimen was well-tolerated and induced antibody responses to the Zaire ebolavirus species, 21 days after the second dose in 98 per cent of all participants.
The regimen, Zabdeno and Mvabea, generated immune responses that persisted in adults for at least two years.
“These peer-reviewed data support the prophylactic use of the Johnson & Johnson Ebola vaccine regimen to protect people at risk of Ebola, which is essential to our vision of preventing Ebola outbreaks before they can begin,” J&J’s Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels said.
The company added that a booster shot administered two years after the initial vaccination induced a strong immune response within seven days.
Ebola typically kills about half of those it infects, although vaccines and new treatments have proven highly effective in reducing fatality rates.
The Government of Guinea declared a new outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) on 14 February 2021. Preliminary findings indicated that the virus in the current epidemic is the same responsible for the 2014-16 epidemic and that it was transmitted from one human to another.
Shortly after, Ebola resurfaced in Ivory Coast for the first time in 25 years, in what was the first Ebola case in a major West African city since 2016. That 2014-2016 outbreak killed more than 11,300 people, mostly across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Up to 90 percent of Ebola patients died in previous outbreaks, but health officials say chances of survival are better than ever with the rise of effective treatments, more so with the vaccines.
Guinea has yet to uncover other Ebola cases. In August, the nation reported the region’s first brush with Marburg virus, another hemorrhagic fever with fatality rates of up to 88 percent, depending on the strain.
In response to these happenings, the World Health Organisation warned that on top of the Covid-19 pandemic, West Africa is facing new outbreaks of the viral hemorrhagic fevers Marburg and Ebola, risking huge strains on ill-equipped health systems.
J&J’s vaccine regimen received European approval in July 2020 and prequalification from the WHO, which allows medicines to be procured by developing countries.