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Cooperation, Partnership Essential To Preparing For, Responding To Disease Outbreaks Like Ebola

The Lancet: An Ebola vaccine: first results and promising opportunities
Editorial Board

“[On August 3,] The Lancet publishe[d] the first results from a phase 3 cluster randomized trial of a novel Ebola virus vaccine. The study, sponsored and led by WHO, is a remarkable scientific and logistical achievement. … [I]f the evidence proves sufficient for licensing, a Global Ebola Vaccine Implementation Team, also under WHO’s leadership, has been preparing the ground for its introduction … One important message goes beyond even Ebola — the power of multilateralism and inclusive partnership to devise and execute critical clinical research. Ebola has been a catastrophe for West Africa. But out of this epidemic has come the opportunity to build unprecedented collaborations to generate evidence to advance health. There have been few better examples to prove the value and importance of WHO to strengthen global health security” (8/3).

Wired: Vaccines Weren’t Ready for Ebola. We Can Do Better
Kendall Hoyt, assistant professor at Dartmouth Medical School

“…[Vaccine and drug development platforms] are an important investment in the ability to respond to outbreaks more efficiently in the future. But they are just one link in the chain of capabilities required to generate safe and effective emergency countermeasures. Researchers and regulators must improve technologies and operational efficiency in each phase: detection, diagnostics, discovery, development, manufacturing, clinical trials, and delivery. As speed and efficiency improves in each area, they can form a vaccine ‘superhighway’ to dramatically shorten response times. … When the world faces the next ‘public health emergency of international concern,’ let the development timeline be driven wholly by legitimate scientific challenges and not by operational inefficiency…” (8/27).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.