KAMPALA - The National Drug Authority(NDA) has assured the public on the safety of the Ebola vaccine to fight the deadly virus.
The trial of the MVA-BN vaccine developed by Johnson&Johnson is expected to last two years. At the moment, there is no licensed drug to prevent or treat Ebola, although a range of experimental drugs is in development.
“The ministry of health has just finished the national measles-Rubella and polio mass vaccination campaign 2019 and we are happy that our children are not going to die of such diseases, the same way people are not going to get any complications with the Ebola vaccine,” said Medard Bitekyerezo, the NDA chairman.
Bitekyerezo noted that the vaccine is expensive and the public should not be duped in getting the vaccine because it is only available in risk areas.
“The vaccine is kept under very low temperatures; it is for those who are pre-exposed not everyone. Even if you have money you cannot get it and it is not on sale. We are now prepared to handle any epidemic,” said Bitekyerezo.
The vaccine will be administered to health professionals and frontline workers such as cleaners, ambulance personnel, and mortuary and burial teams, in western Uganda and Congo.
The vaccine has been used in Congo as a full-scale weapon against the virus.
Uganda has suffered Ebola outbreaks in the past but nothing on the scale of the Congo epidemic, which began in August 2018.
It is the second-worst outbreak on record, eclipsed only by the 2013-2016 epidemic in West Africa, which killed more than 11,300 out of 29,000 documented cases.
Uganda has been declared Ebola-free though in June three people from one family died of a hemorrhagic fever after crossing to Uganda from Congo.