In April 2015, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the Sierra Leone Trial to Introduce a Vaccine against Ebola (STRIVE) to assess the safety and effectiveness of the rVSV-ZEBOV candidate Ebola vaccine. The CDC, in partnership with the Sierra Leone College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS) and the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS), will enroll about 6,000 frontline health care workerscommunity health workers, midwives, local pharmacists, technicians, nurses, doctors, and othersin this study.
The rVSV-ZEBOV candidate vaccine uses a virus that infects animals (called vesicular stomatitis) carrying a non-infectious Ebola virus gene. The candidate vaccine cannot cause Ebola infection, but it may stimulate an immune system response to protect against the disease.
Participants in the STRIVE study will be randomly assigned to receive the vaccine immediately or in about 6 months. Once they receive the vaccine, they will be closely monitored for 6 months. All participants will receive the vaccine.
The study is being conducted in areas of Sierra Leone heavily affected by the Ebola virus outbreak, including Freetown in the Western Area Urban district, the Western Area rural district, and parts of Bombali, Port Loko, and Tonkolili districts.
In additional ongoing studiesinvolving more than 800 people in Africa, Canada, Europe, and the United Statesthe rVSV-ZEBOV candidate Ebola vaccine showed an acceptable safety profile. Early results also indicate that the vaccine triggers an immune response.
According to the CDC, health care workersincluding those enrolled in this clinical trialmust continue to follow all preventive action guidelines and recommendations. To reduce the risk of contracting and spreading the Ebola virus, they must
- Receive proper training
- Follow focused protocols and procedures
- Continue to use recommended protective equipment as directed
Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)