Home / News / World /  SII to produce nearly 30,000 doses of experimental Ebola vaccine for use in Uganda outbreak

Indian biotechnology and biopharmaceuticals company, Serum Institute of India is planning to manufacture about 20,000 to 30,000 doses of an experimental Ebola vaccine for use in trials against the latest outbreak in Uganda. The experimental vaccines are expected to be delivered by next month's end. Currently, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has imposed a lockdown in two districts due to the Ebola outbreak.

According to Reuters, Oxford University's Jenner Institute, which developed a COVID-19 vaccine with AstraZeneca (AZN.L), has an Ebola vaccine that has been shown to induce an immune response to both the Sudan and Zaire strains in Phase 1 trials.

Further, its developers told the news agency that it could be deployed in Uganda as part of a clinical trial once the authorities there gave regulatory approval.

Teresa Lambe, the chief scientific adviser on Ebola at the Jenner Institute told Reuters that they are working very closely with Serum Institute to rapidly scale up the manufacture of this vaccine, They hope to have a large number of doses, approximately 20,000 to 30,000 or more by mid-to-end of November.

While another source at the Serum Institute stated that the vaccine doses will be supplied free of cost.

Due to the Ebola outbreak, the Uganda government has banned personal travel, ordered a night curfew, and shuttered down public places in the districts. The government also announced a three-week lockdown in two districts of Uganda. This latest outbreak has claimed the lives of 19 people among 58 cases that were recorded currently. However, chances are that the number of death and cases are probably higher as per reports.

The Ebola outbreak first commenced in early September this year in the central region of the country in Mubende, and has been an epicentre. Mubende is approximately 80km from the country's capital Kampala which has a population of about 1.5 million. Currently, the outbreak is concentrated in the central districts of Mubende and Kassanda.

Pune-based Serum Institute is now the world's largest vaccine manufacturer by a number of doses produced and sold globally (more than 1.5 billion doses) which includes Polio vaccine, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Hib, BCG, r-Hepatitis B, Measles, Mumps, Rubella as well as Pneumococcal and Covid-19 vaccines.

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