Public health: Behind a vaccine
Thursday, April 30, 2015
In August 2014, officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) called global-health specialist Adrian Hill, who is the director of a non-profit vaccine-research centre. They had an urgent question: how soon could the centre launch a clinical trial for an Ebola vaccine?
“They weren’t talking months — they were talking weeks, if not days,” says Hill, who works at the Jenner Institute in Oxford, UK. A non-profit partnership between the University of Oxford and the animal-health-focused Pirbright Institute in Woking, UK, the Jenner Institute had vaccine-research programmes in progress that targeted nearly 20 human and veterinary diseases — but not Ebola.
Yet within a month of the phone call, the institute had launched an Ebola-research initiative. And six months later, it was testing candidate vaccines, including one in a phase III trial that involved 27,000 people in Liberia.
- Health Care