The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, said on Tuesday that Nigeria will take advantage of the Ebola Vaccine if released by the American government.
He said, “At the moment, Nigeria is reaching out to various laboratories, and various governments including the United States to see how some of this untried drugs and vaccines that seemed to hold out some hopes could also be deployed in Nigeria and it is possible that very soon we would also be administering the vaccines on extremely serious cases.
“What is important is that we had already established a mechanism to explore all possible suggestions. Apart from the American vaccine, there are others but none had gone through all the necessary clinical processes.
“Some had gone through phases one and two but none had gone through phase three. We are reaching out to research institutions in about three countries, so it is work in progress.”
Chukwu stressed that “even with the vaccines, whether approved, licensed, or registered, what is important is that all of them will only compliment what has been the well tried out treatment protocol in Ebola virus.”
He noted that the most important measure was to achieve early diagnosis, early isolation, and nutrition which included the use of electrolyte which the patient in Lagos are receiving.
He said, “That is why many of them are almost ready to go, they are getting better. Our patients are getting the treatment according to established WHO protocol.”
He explained that the experimental vaccines being administered by some countries have not gone through due clinical trials but that their laws permitted them though with the informed consent of the patients.
In Nigeria, he said, “our national research ethics code also permits such practice under exigency or when there is epidemic and there had been drugs or vaccines though not yet concluded in terms of clinical trials, which we could deploy into the patients.”