UGANDA – India’s first Ebola vaccine has been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for export to Uganda.

The vaccine has been developed by Serum Institute in collaboration with Oxford University, UK. It will be used for solidarity clinical trials in Uganda.

World Health Organization (WHO) had sought collaboration with manufacturers of Ebola vaccines for the prevention of the disease and has selected ChAdOx1 biEBOV as a potential vaccine for participation in a solidarity clinical trial in Uganda.

Oxford University signed an agreement with Serum Institute of India to manufacture ChAdOx1 biEBOV.

The approval for export comes after an application was submitted to the Drugs Controller General of India by Prakash Kumar Singh, Director, Serum Institute of India, on November 30.

“We, Serum Institute of India, under the visionary leadership of our CEO Dr Adar C Poonawalla, are committed to making available various world-class life-saving vaccines to our country and the world at large in the line with the clarion call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘Making in India for the World,” said Singh.

Uganda receives first Ebola shipment

This comes as Uganda received a shipment of 1,200 Ebola vaccine doses from the WHO.

Three vaccine options – one from the University of Oxford and Serum Institute of India, another by the Sabin Vaccine Institute and a third by Merck & Co Inc. will be considered for use in the clinical trial.

Although 142 people were infected and 56 died since September 20, 2022 health authorities have been reporting that the last infected person has been healed and sent home.

This, according to Science.org, places a damper on trials that could have a huge impact on a haemorrhagic disease generally considered to have no cure.

Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng said at a ceremony to receive the vaccines in Entebbe, that the 1,200 doses that arrived were from the Sabin Vaccine Institute. She said the others would follow.

Recently, the minister and the WHO representative in Uganda, took stock of equipment procured for the trial – including the cold chain, personal protective equipment, study tablets for the research teams, and other medical materials.

The Ebola infections saw a downturn in tourism since September 2022 and the government has been trying to encourage visitors to the country.

Ebola causes vomiting, diarrhoea, and bleeding from all body orifices, and spreads through contact with the bodily fluids of those infected.

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