Researchers at the Kericho-based Kenya Medical Research Institute/Walter Reed Project Clinical Research Center are in the last stages of finalising human trials of two Ebola vaccines in Kenya.
The vaccines dubbed Ad. 26 ZEBOV and MVA-BN-Filo have already been administered to 122 healthy adults in Kericho County and its environs.
The randomised, observer-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2 study was done to evaluate the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of the two prime- vaccines.
“We have finished vaccinating the participants. As at now, we are doing clinical and laboratory assessment for safety issues and also testing immunogenicity to see whether the vaccine can provoke an immune response in the body,” said Dr Josphat Kosgei, the Associate Investigator at Kemri.
The main purpose of this study is to find out if the study vaccines are safe without causing too many side effects.
The participants in the study are randomised to receive either Ebola vaccine or placebo (prime vaccination then boost vaccination).
Participants have a clinical evaluation to include a medical history and physical exam at every study visit. Blood is taken for general health, and how the immune system responds to vaccines under investigation.
The patients will be followed for one year. Similar trails are already taking place in US, Uganda, Tanzania and Nigeria.
“All the countries are testing for the vaccines safety and its ability to generate an immune system response. So far, we have not heard any report on safety issues and the early trials results will be provided towards the end of the year,” he said.