DTU part of developing first Ebola vaccine - The Post

DTU part of developing first Ebola vaccine

Ervebo has proven to be a great success in curbing fatalities caused by the deadly disease

Ervebo has shown great results (photo: Flickr/Pan American Health Organization)
December 13th, 2019 12:08 pm| by Roselyne Min

The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) has played a role in the production of the first vaccine for the the deadly contagious disease Ebola.

DTU completed the safety and risk assessment of the first-ever commercial vaccine against Ebola – a haemorrhagic fever that causes severe diarrhoea, vomiting, bleeding and which is fatal in up to 90 percent of cases.

As the vaccine, named Ervebo, contains a GMO, the Danish Agricultural Agency charged DTU with conducting the risk assessment for the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The assessment concluded that the GMO in the vaccine poses a negligible risk.

The vaccine is manufactured by US pharmaceutical company Merck and was prequalified by the EMA and the World Health Organization (WHO) in November.

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Proven safety and efficacy
While the vaccine was just recently approved, more than 100,000 have already been vaccinated in the wake of the second-most deadly Ebola outbreak of all time in DR Congo.

The permission was given on an emergency basis, for so-called compassionate use, in which the vaccine was shown to be highly effective at preventing infection.

There have been around 2,000 deaths in DR Congo since its outbreak in 2018. According to Doctors Without Borders, more than 11,300 people died in connection with the Ebola virus from 2014 to 2016.

Ervebo uses the so-called ‘ring-vaccination’ strategy, which is designed to inhibit the spread of disease by vaccinating people who have had varying degrees of contact with persons suspected of having been infected with the virus.