The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is coordinating clinical trials of a preventative vaccine for Ebola virus disease (EVD) being developed by Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. Volunteer participants are first given a prime dose to stimulate an initial immune response, and then a booster dose intended to further enhance the level and duration of protection against Ebola.
The School’s Vaccine Confidence Project team is coordinating a consortium to develop a communication strategy, tools and mobile technologies to promote the acceptance and uptake of new Ebola vaccines. Partners include Janssen, the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, University of Sierra Leone, the Grameen Foundation and World Vision.
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G Laverack, E Manoncourt. 2015. “Key experiences of community engagement and social mobilization in the Ebola response.” Global Health Promotion, doi:10.1177/1757975915606674
The researchers listed here are collaborating with the Vaccine Confidence Project in studying the social dimensions of the West African Ebola outbreak and their consequences for ongoing vaccine trials.
Shelley Lees is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Global Health and Development. Over the past 15 years she has conducted research studies on maternal health, HIV, HPV, and gender-based violence in East Africa. Much of her research has been conducted in the context of randomised control trials where, as an anthropologist, she has been able to explore how women utilise technologies or interventions (such as microbicides, participatory training, microfinance) to address adversity. She is also currently leading anthropological research into a trial in West Africa involving Ebola, exploring both potential concerns and rumours which could impact on participation, and the ethical conduct of the trial.
Luisa Enria is a Research Fellow, carrying out qualitative research on community perceptions of EBOVAC Salone, an Ebola vaccine trial, in Kambia District (Sierra Leone). The research combines ethnographic methods, in depth interviews and focus groups to explore participant and community perceptions of the trial and decision-making around the trial; the socio-cultural context in which the trial is taking place and local perceptions of illness, disease and medical intervention in the aftermath of the recent Ebola outbreak.
Suzanne Hurst is a DrPH student, looking at the intersection of faith and Ebola in Africa, and how faith, in the African context, affects adherents’ willingness to accept scientific recommendations for the existence of Ebola and for prevention and containment measures.
Gillian McKay is a DrPH student, with a focus area of policy to support safe motherhood in times of epidemic crisis. Her research will be focused on maternal access to health care in times of epidemic crisis and in the post-epidemic recovery period. Through qualitative work with health care workers and pregnant women, she will analyse key barriers to care, including trust in the safety and quality of services.